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Flashcards in 1. The axilla Deck (8)
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1

What is the axilla?

area that lies beneath the GH joint, at junction of upper limb and thorax

2

name the borders of the axilla.

- apex = cervico-axillary canal bounded by 1st rib, clavicle and superior edge of scapula
- posterior wall = subscapularis (overlying scapula), teres major and latissimus dorsi
- anterior wall = pec. major and minor
- medial wall = seratus anterior overlying thoracic wall
- lateral wall = intertubercular groove of humerus

3

describe the contents of the axilla

lateral to medial:
- tendons of biceps brachii and coracobrachialis
- brachial plexus (deep)
- axillary artery
- axillary vein
- axillary lymph nodes

4

what are the 3 main routes by which structures leave the axilla?

1- immediately inferiorly and laterally into upper limb - main route of exit

2- via quadrangular space - gap in posterior wall of axilla, allowing access to posterior arm and shoulder area (e.g. axillary n. and posterior circumflex humeral artery)

3- via clavipectoral triangle - opening into anterior wall of axilla (e.g. entrance of cephalic vein, exit of lateral pectoral nerves)

5

What are the 5 principal groups of axillary lymph nodes.

1. pectoral (anterior) nodes: 3-5 nodes along medial wall of axilla, around lateral thoracic vein and inferior borders of pectoralis minor

2. subscapular (posterior) nodes: 6-7 nodes along posterior axillary fold and subscapular blood vessels

3. humeral (lateral) nodes: 4-6 nodes along lateral wall of axilla, medial and posterior to axillary vein

4. central nodes: 3-4 large nodes deep to pectoralis minor, associated with 2nd part of axillary artery

5. apical nodes: at axilla apex

6

Describe the drainage of lymph by the axillary nodes.

1. pectoral nodes: receive lymph from anterior thoracic wall, inc. most of breast

2. subscapular nodes: receive lymph from posterior aspect of thoracic wall and scapular region

3. humeral nodes: receive nearly all lymph from upper arm

4. central nodes: receive lymph from pectoral, subscapular and humeral nodes

5. apical nodes: receive lymph from all other groups of axillary nodes as well as from lymphatics accompanying proximal cephalic vein

7

What happens to the efferent vessels from apical nodes?

traverse the cervicoaxillary canal and unite to form the subclavian lymphatic trunk

8

Name 3 conditions which can cause axillary node enlargement .

lymphangitis:
1- infection in upper limb (characterised by warm red streaks in skin of limb)
2- infection in pectoral region or breast

3- breast cancer metastases