Wilhelm Erb and Erb's point

Academic Article


  • Wilhelm Erb is well known for his early contributions to the field of neurology and was an eminent physician of his time. One area described by him and that still bears his name is Erb's point. This point located just superior to the clavicle was used by Erb to transcutaneously elicit contractions of various proximal arm muscles with electrical stimulation. Many have mistakenly interchanged the terms "Erb's point" and "nerve point" when describing the point of emergence of the cutaneous branches of the cervical plexus near the posterior border of the sternocleidomastoid muscle. We present a brief history of Erb's adult life and review his original description of his supraclavicular point and contrast this to the so called nerve point of the posterior cervical triangle. Clinicians and anatomists should be aware of the discrepancy often found in the literature between these two terms. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Tubbs RS; Loukas M; Salter EG; Oakes WJ
  • Start Page

  • 486
  • End Page

  • 488
  • Volume

  • 20
  • Issue

  • 5