Lumbar nerves

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Nerve: Lumbar nerves
Areas of distribution of the cutaneous branches of the posterior divisions of the spinal nerves. The areas of the medial branches are in black, those of the lateral in red.
Plan of lumbar plexus.
Latin nervi lumbales
Gray's p.924
Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy

The lumbar nerves are the five spinal nerves emerging from the lumbar vertebrae. They are divided into posterior and anterior divisions.

Posterior divisions[edit]

The medial branches of the posterior divisions of the lumbar nerves run close to the articular processes of the vertebræ and end in the multifidus muscle.

The lateral branches supply the erector spinae muscles.

The upper three give off cutaneous nerves which pierce the aponeurosis of the latissimus dorsi at the lateral border of the erector spine muscles, and descend across the posterior part of the iliac crest to the skin of the buttock, some of their twigs running as far as the level of the greater trochanter.

Anterior divisions[edit]

The anterior divisions of the lumbar nerves (rami anteriores) increase in size from above downward.

They are joined, near their origins, by gray rami communicantes from the lumbar ganglia of the sympathetic trunk.

These rami consist of long, slender branches which accompany the lumbar arteries around the sides of the vertebral bodies, beneath the Psoas major.

Their arrangement is somewhat irregular: one ganglion may give rami to two lumbar nerves, or one lumbar nerve may receive rami from two ganglia.

The first and second, and sometimes the third and fourth lumbar nerves are each connected with the lumbar part of the sympathetic trunk by a white ramus communicans.

The nerves pass obliquely outward behind the Psoas major, or between its fasciculi, distributing filaments to it and the Quadratus lumborum.

The first three and the greater part of the fourth are connected together in this situation by anastomotic loops, and form the lumbar plexus.

The smaller part of the fourth joins with the fifth to form the lumbosacral trunk, which assists in the formation of the sacral plexus.

The fourth nerve is named the nervus furcalis, from the fact that it is subdivided between the two plexuses.

Additional images[edit]

See also[edit]


Hsu, Philip S., MD, Carmel Armon, MD, and Kerry Levin, MD. "Lumbosacral Radiculopathy: Pathophysiology.Clinical, Features, and Diagnosis." Uptodate, 11 Jan. 2011.Web. 26 Sept. 2012.

Loizidez, Alexander, MD, Siegfried Peer, MD, Michaela Plaikner, MD, Verena Spiss, MD, and HannesGruber, MD. "Ultrasound-guided Injections in the Lumbar Spine." Medical Ultrasonography, 20 Jan. 2011. Web. 26 Sept. 2012.

Zhu, Jie, MD, and Obi Onyewu, MD. "Alternative Approach for Lumbar Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injections." Pain Physician, 21 Apr. 2011. Web. 26 Sept. 2012.;14;331-341.pdf

External links[edit]

This article incorporates text from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy.