The ulnar artery branches off the brachial artery below the bend of the elbow, at the cubital fossa. It runs the length of the forearm and ends at the superficial palmer arch, where it meets the radial artery. To some, the superficial palmer arch is also known as the superficial volar arch. The ulnar artery, like its radial counterpart, delivers oxygenated blood to the forearm and the smaller arteries in the hand. These arteries should not be confused with veins of similar name, which convey deoxygenated blood away from the forearm and hands. Once the radial and ulnar arteries join as the superficial palmer arch, the artery branches into smaller vessels known as the common Palmar arteries of the digits. Other branches of the ulnar arteries include the posterior and anterior ulnar recurrent arteries. Both are located closer to the elbow. Also, other offshoots include the muscular, volar carpal, dorsal carpal, deep volar and the common interosseous arteries. The common interosseous has dorsal and volar varieties.
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
In Depth: Ulnar artery