Category : Arteries

Anatomy Arteries Blood Vessels Hand

Anatomy 101: Arteries of the Arm

There are 5 arteries in the arm and shoulder that supply blood to the body.

Arteries are muscle-lined tubes in the body that transport blood from the heart to other parts of the body. In the upper extremity, there are two arteries that pass through the axilla, also known as the “armpit.” These arteries are:

  • Subclavian Artery: This is the large vessel that begins the blood supply to the upper extremity.  It begins near the heart and travels under the clavicle bone toward the shoulder.  Eventually it turns into the axillary artery.
  • Axillary Artery: This is a continuation of the subclavian artery. This artery travels deep in the arm pit, feeding muscles and bones around the shoulder with its branches. It eventually turns into the brachial artery.
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Anatomy Arteries Hand

Anatomy 101: Arteries of the Hand

Arteries of the Hand

Arteries are multi-layered tubes that take blood from the heart to other places in the body. There are six arteries that travel into the hand. They are:

Deep Palmar Arch
Named for its shape of an arch, the deep palmar arch is small but important. This vessel sends off small branches to supply blood to the thumb and index finger.

Superficial Palmar Arch
Also named for its shape of an arch, this vessel communicates with the deep palmar arch and also gives off important branches that supply blood to the fingers.  These are called the common digital arteries.

Common Digital Arteries
The common digital arteries are small vessels that come from the palmar arches and supply blood to the fingers.  They are called “common” because when they split to become the proper digital arteries, most of these vessels provide blood to two different fingers.

Digital Arteries to the Thumb
The thumb receives its blood supply from the digital arteries.

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Anatomy Arteries Hand Vascular Disorders Veins

5 Causes of Vascular Disorders

radial-artery

If you have a vascular disorder, it means you have a problem with arteries and veins. Arteries are pipes that bring blood from the heart to the fingers. Veins are pipes that return the used blood back to the heart and lungs. There can be many different causes of vascular problems. Here are five common causes:

  1. Traumatic injury
  2. Flattening of pipes
  3. Blocked pipes
  4. Tumors or deformed, tangled pipes, which may or may not be present at birth
  5. Vessel spasms

Some signs of vascular problems include pain, color changes in the fingertips, wounds that won’t heal, numb hands and swelling.

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