The superficial sensory branch of the radial nerve appears prone to develop painful neuromas out of proportion to its likelihood for injury. Based on cadaver dissections and intraoperative observations, an anatomical mechanism for this "predisposition" is suggested. Exit of this nerve beneath dense fascia and the tendons of brachioradialis and extensor carpi radialis longus provide a proximal tethering against which tension develops as the distal fixation point (neuroma) is pulled through the long excursion of wrist arc of motion. This long excursion and proximal tethering are not present anatomically for the dorsal cutaneous branch of the ulnar nerve nor the palmar cutaneous branch of the median nerve.
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