Posterior triangle of the neck
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The posterior triangle of the neck forms the posterior compartment of the neck and is separated from the anterior triangle by the sternocleidomastoid muscle. The triangles of the neck are surgically focused, first described from early dissection-based anatomical studies which predated cross-sectional anatomical description based on imaging (see deep spaces of the neck).
anterior: posterior border of sternocleidomastoid muscle
posterior: anterior border of trapezius muscle
inferior: middle third of the clavicle
roof: skin, superficial fascia and the investing layer of deep cervical fascia
The posterior triangle contains level 5 lymph node chains. These include spinal accessory and transverse cervical nodes. Depending on the location of the nodes above or below the accessory nerve, they are subgrouped as level 5a (above) or level 5b (below).
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