Supraclavicular nerves

The supraclavicular nerves (descending branches) arise from the third and fourth cervical nerves; they emerge beneath the posterior border of the sternocleidomastoideus (sternocleidomastoid muscle), and descend in the posterior triangle of the neck beneath the platysma and deep cervical fascia.

Supraclavicular nerves
The nerves of the scalp, face, and side of neck. (Supraclavicular nerves visible at bottom.)
Plan of the cervical plexus. (Superficial descending labeled at bottom left.)
FromC3–C4 of cervical plexus
InnervatesCutaneous innervation of the skin above and below the clavicle.
Latinnervi supraclaviculares
Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy


Near the clavicle they perforate the fascia and Platysma to become cutaneous, and are arranged, according to their position, into three groups—anterior, middle, and posterior.

Medial supraclavicular nerve

The medial supraclavicular nerves or anterior supraclavicular nerves (nn. supraclaviculares anteriores; suprasternal nerves) cross obliquely over the external jugular vein and the clavicular and sternal heads of the sternocleidomastoideus, and supply the skin as far as the middle line. They furnish one or two filaments to

Intermedial supraclavicular nerve

The intermedial supraclavicular nerve middle supraclavicular nerves (nn. supraclaviculares medii; supraclavicular nerves) cross the clavicle, and supply the skin over the pectoralis major and deltoideus, communicating with the cutaneous branches of the upper intercostal nerves.

Lateral supraclavicular nerve

The lateral supraclavicular nerve or posterior supraclavicular nerves[1](nn. supraclaviculares posteriores; supra-acromial nerves) pass obliquely across the outer surface of the trapezius and the acromion, and supply the skin of the upper and posterior parts of the shoulder.

Additional images


This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 928 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

  • lesson6 at The Anatomy Lesson by Wesley Norman (Georgetown University)
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