Antecubital fossa anatomy


Intravenous literature: Ellis, H., Feldman, S. and Harrup-Griffiths, W. (2010) The clinical anatomy of the antecubital fossa. British Journal of Hospital Medicine. 71(1), p.M4-5.


To the anatomist, the antecubital fossa is the space through which the principal vascular and nervous trunks pass into the forearm. To the surgeon it is also the site of possible injury to the brachial artery in fractures around the elbow, with the risk of Volkmann’s ischaemic contracture constantly in mind. It is here where the surgeon is tempted to use the large superficial veins for venous access, but knows only too well the dangers of inadvertent intra-arterial or intraneural injection – something that may well be encountered in a ‘main-line’ drug addict. It is also a convenient site for arterial cannulation and for anaesthetic blocks of the nerves to the forearm.


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