Anatomical snuff box



Refers to a triangular deepening on the radial, dorsal aspect of the hand.

It is at the level of the carpal bones, specifically, the scaphoid and trapezium bones forming the floor.

The name relates to the use of this surface for placing and then sniffing powdered tobacco, or “snuff.”

The medial border of the snuffbox is the tendon of the extensor pollicis longus.

The lateral border is a pair tendons, the extensor pollicis brevis and the abductor pollicis longus.

The anatomical snuffbox is more pronounced concavity, during thumb extension.

The proximal border of the snuff box is formed by the styloid process of the radius.

The distal border is formed by the approximate apex of the schematic snuffbox isosceles triangle.

At the floor of the snuffbox both the trapezium and primarily the scaphoid can be palpated.

The radial artery passes through the anatomical snuffbox on its course from the normal radial pulse detecting area, to the proximal space in between the first and second metacarpals to contribute to the superficial and deep palmar arches.

In the anatomical snuffbox, the radial artery is closely related with the superficial branch of radial nerve near the styloid process of radius in 48% of patients.

In 24% the radial artery is closely related to the lateral cutaneous nerve of forearm.

The cephalic vein arises within the anatomical snuffbox,.

The dorsal cutaneous branch of the radial nerve can be palpated along the extensor pollicis longus

Deep to the snuffbox the radius and the scaphoid articulate to form the basis of the wrist joint.

It is the area through which the brunt of the force from a fall will focus, when the hand is out stretched.

The force experienced with an outstretched hand from a fall , results in the radius and the scaphoid bones being the most often fractured of the wrist.

The scaphoid bone’s purpose is to facilitate mobility rather than confer stability to the wrist joint.

Scaphoid fracture is a frequent causes of medico-legal issues.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *