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Ulnar Artery

Ulnar artery, the larger of the two terminal branches of brachial artery, begins in the cubital fossa at the level of neck of radius. In the anterior compartment, it lies in front of the flexor retinaculum in company with the ulnar nerve. It forms the superfical palmar arch and anastomosis with the superfical palmar branch of radial artery.

Ulnar artery as seen in superficial dissection:

Image from Grey’s Anatomy 20th edition

Ulnar artery as seen in deep dissection:

Image from Grey’s Anatomy 20th edition

Branches in Forearm:

1. Muscular branches

2. Recurrent branches

3. Arterial anastomosis around the wrist joint

4. Common Interosseous artery

It arises from the upper part of the ulnar artery. It divides into anterior and posterior branches which supply the muscles infront of and behind the interosseous membrane. Also gives nutrient artery to radius and ulna and forms the anastomosis around the wrist joint.

Ulnar artery lies on the lateral side of ulnar nerve and pisiform bone anterior to flexor retinaculum. It gives deep branch and continues into palm as the superficial palmar arch.

Superficial palmar arch:

It is the direct continuation of ulnar artery and curves laterally behind the palmar aponeurosis, infront of the long flexor tendons. The arch is completed on the lateral side by the branch of radial artery. The curve of arch lies across the palm at level with the distant border of fully extended thumb.

Branches in hand:

1. Digital arteries

2. Deep branch of ulnar artery

Deep branch lies infront of the flexor retinaculum and passes between the abductor digiti minimi and the flexor digiti minimi. It joins the radial artery to complete the deep palmar arch.

Superficial and deep palmar arch:

Image from Grey’s Anatomy 20th edition

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