Skip to Main Content

++

Big Picture

++

The neck region is divided into triangles to compartmentalize the contents. The sternocleidomastoid muscle divides the neck region into posterior and anterior triangles. The posterior triangle of the neck is located on the lateral aspect of the neck.

++

Boundaries of the Posterior Triangle

++

The boundaries of the posterior triangle are as follows (Figure 26-1A):

++

  • Anteriorly. The sternocleidomastoid muscle.
  • Posteriorly. The trapezius muscle.
  • Inferiorly. The clavicle.

++
Figure 26-1
Graphic Jump Location

A. Boundaries of the posterior triangle of the neck. B. Cross-section and lateral view of the deep investing fascia surrounding the sternocleidomastoid and trapezius muscles. C. Cross-section and lateral view of the prevertebral fascia covering the prevertebral muscles. D. Prevertebral fascia removed from the posterior triangle of the neck.

++

Roof of the Posterior Triangle

++

The roof of the posterior triangle of the neck consists of the investing layer of the deep cervical fascia that surrounds the neck, enveloping the sternocleidomastoid and trapezius muscles (Figure 26-1B). The sensory branches of the cervical plexus and the external jugular vein pierce the investing layer of cervical fascia.

++

Sensory Branches of the Cervical Plexus

++

The sensory branches of the cervical plexus course between the anterior and middle scalene muscles piercing the investing fascia at the posterior border of the sternocleidomastoid muscle en route to their respective cutaneous fields (Figure 26-1B).

++

  • Lesser occipital nerve (C2 contribution). Ascends along the posterior border of the sternocleidomastoid muscle en route to the skin of the neck and scalp, behind the ear.
  • Great auricular nerve (C2–C3 contributions). Ascends over the sternocleidomastoid muscle en route to the skin of the parotid region and ear.
  • Transverse cervical nerve (C2–C3 contributions). Courses horizontally over the sternocleidomastoid muscle en route to the skin on the anterior and lateral sides of the neck.
  • Supraclavicular nerve (C3–C4 contributions). Descends obliquely across the posterior triangle of the neck to the skin over the clavicle and superior region of the thorax.

++

External Jugular Vein

++

The external jugular vein descends vertically across the superficial surface of the sternocleidomastoid muscle, between the platysma muscle and the investing fascia. The external jugular vein pierces the investing fascia where it joins with the subclavian vein.

++

Floor of the Posterior Triangle

++

The prevertebral fascia forms the floor of the posterior triangle of the neck (Figure 26-1C and D).

++

The following structures are superficial to the prevertebral fascia:

++

  • Inferior belly of the omohyoid muscle. Courses from the hyoid bone en route to the scapula within the pretracheal fascia.
  • Transverse cervical artery. A branch from the thyrocervical trunk that courses along ...

Want remote access to your institution's subscription?

Sign in to your MyAccess profile while you are actively authenticated on this site via your institution (you will be able to verify this by looking at the top right corner of the screen - if you see your institution's name, you are authenticated). Once logged in to your MyAccess profile, you will be able to access your institution's subscription for 90 days from any location. You must be logged in while authenticated at least once every 90 days to maintain this remote access.

Ok

Create a Free MyAccess Profile

* Required Fields

Note: If you have registered for a MyAccess profile on any of the Access sites, you can use the same MyAccess login credentials across all sites.

Passwords must be between 6 and 40 characters long (no whitespace), cannot contain characters #, &, and must contain:
  • at least one lowercase letter
  • at least one uppercase letter
  • at least one digit

Benefits of a MyAccess Profile:

  • Remote access to the site off-campus on any device
  • Notification of new content via custom alerts
  • Bookmark your favorite content such as chapters, figures, tables, videos, cases and more
  • Save and download images to PowerPoint
  • Self-Assessment quizzes saved for quick review
  • Custom Curriculum access for both instructors and learners

Subscription Options

AccessAnesthesiology Full Site: One-Year Subscription

Connect to the full suite of AccessAnesthesiology content and resources including procedural videos, interactive self-assessment, real-life cases, 20+ textbooks, and more

$995 USD
Buy Now

Pay Per View: Timed Access to all of AccessAnesthesiology

24 Hour Subscription $34.95

Buy Now

48 Hour Subscription $54.95

Buy Now

Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.