Dorsal scapular nerve

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Dorsal scapular nerve
The right brachial plexus with its short branches, viewed from in front. (Dorsalis scapulae labeled at left, second from top.)
From C5 of brachial plexus
Innervates rhomboid minor, rhomboid major, levator scapulae
Latin nervus dorsalis scapulae
TA A14.2.03.011
FMA 65279
Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy

The dorsal scapular nerve arises from the brachial plexus, usually from the plexus root (anterior/ventral ramus) of C5.

It provides motor innervation to the rhomboid muscles, which pull the scapula towards the spine and levator scapulae muscle, which elevates the scapula.

Injury to this nerve is usually apparent when the scapula on one side is located farther from the midline. Once the nerve leaves C5 it commonly pierces the middle scalene muscle, and continues deep to levator scapulae and the rhomboids. It is accompanied by one of two arteries: either the dorsal scapular artery (the only artery that comes off the third part of the subclavian, although its origin is highly variable in different people) or, when the dorsal scapular artery is absent, the deep branch of the transverse cervical artery (an artery coming off the thyrocervical trunk, a branch of the first part of the subclavian artery, the other two branches being vertebral artery and internal thoracic artery).

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