dorsal branch -->
dorsal primary ramus of spinal nerve
medical dictionary


<anatomy> The smaller, posteriorly-directed major terminal branch (with the ventral primary ramus) of all 31 pairs of mixed spinal nerves, formed at the intervertebral foramen and turning abruptly posteriorly to divide into lateral and medial branches, both of which will supply the deep (true) muscles of the back. The medial branch (rami medialis ) of the dorsal primary ramus also supplies articular branches to the zygopophyseal joints and the periosteum of the vertebral arch. In the neck and upper back, the medial branch continues through the deep and superficial back muscles to supply overlying skin; in the lower back, the lateral branch does this. Nomina Anatomica lists dorsal primary rami as "rami dorsales" for each group of spinal nerves: 1) cervical (nervorum cervicalium ), 2) thoracic (nervorum thoracicorum ), 3) lumbar (nervorum lumbalium ), 4) sacral (nervorum sacralium ), and 5) coccygeal (nervi coccygei ).

Synonyms: ramus dorsalis nervorum spinalium, ramus dorsalis, rami posteriores nervorum spinalium, dorsal branch, posterior primary division.

(05 Mar 2000)