Anatomical snuffbox

If the thumb is fully extended the extensor tendons are drawn up, and a concavity appears between them on the radial side of the wrist. The ‘snuffbox’ lies between the ex­tensor pollicis longus tendon on the ulnar side and the tendons of extensor pollicis brevis and abductor pollicis longus on the radial side. The cutaneous branches of the radial nerve cross these tendons, and they can be rolled on the tight tendon of extensor pollicis longus. The cephalic vein begins in the snuff­box, from the radial side of the dorsal venous network. The radial artery, deep to all three tendons, lies in the floor. Bony points readily palpable in the snuffbox are the radial styloid proximally, and the base of the thumb metacarpal distally; between the two the scaphoid and trapezium can be felt.