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Other Terms: Nervus radialis, Nerf radial
The radial nerve, the largest branch of the brachial plexus, is one of the two terminal branches of the posterior cord, the other being the axillary nerve. It lies behind the third portion of the axillary artery and in front of the subscapular, latissimus dorsi, and teres major muscles. This nerve is very important because it supplies all the extensor and all the supinator muscles except the biceps. It is the nerve that is least likely to be injured in wounds of the axilla, but it is frequently injured by contusions, or in fractures of the middle of the shaft of the humerus. It must be carefully avoided in operative procedures in this region.