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Scapula

Anatomy, definition and function of the scapula, also known as shoulder blade.

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Hello, everyone! It’s Matt from Kenhub. And in this tutorial, we will discuss the anatomy, definition, and function of the scapula.

The scapula or shoulder blade is a major bony component of the shoulder and functions to connect the upper extremity with the trunk of the body.

The scapula articulates with two other bones – laterally with the humerus at the glenoid cavity, which is now seen here highlighted in green…

And superiorly with the clavicle at the acromial process.

In this short tutorial, we will list the anatomical features of the scapula. First, the angles. They are the superior angle and the inferior angle.

Next are the borders of the scapula: the medial border which is the longest and faces the vertebral column…

The lateral border, this is the border of the scapula, facing the humerus…

And the superior border, which is the shortest and thinnest.

Moving on to the bony features of the scapula, and as you can imagine, giving it’s unique shape, there are many.

On the anterior surface, there is the subscapular fossa. This is a broad concavity found on the ventral surface of the scapula and serves as an attachment point for the subscapularis muscle.

On the posterior surface is the spine of the scapula, which lies between the next two structures we’re going to talk about:

The supraspinous fossa, which extends from above the spinous process to the superior border of the scapula…

And found inferiorly, the infraspinous fossa. This fossa extends below the spinous process to the inferior angle of the scapula.

Another major feature is the coracoid process which, with the acromoin, are two important projects of the scapula that serve as attachment points for ligaments and muscles, not to mention that they protect some of the more fragile structures found on the shoulder joint.

Finishing off our tour of the scapula, we note the supraglenoid tubercle. This is a small projection found at the superior margin of the glenoid cavity.

Remember this. The supraglenoid tubercle is the origin point of the long head of the biceps.

On the inferior margin of the glenoid cavity, you will find the infraglenoid tubercle. This is also an important landmark to remember since the long head of the triceps arises from this structure.

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