Shoulder joint

Shoulder joint: Anatomy & FunctionAnatomy, functions, innervation and blood supply of the shoulder joint
~ 3 min

The humerus is connected to the scapula by the shoulder joint (articulatio humeri).

Shoulder joint (art. humeri)
Shoulder joint (art. humeri)

This joint is formed between the articular surfaces on the glenoid cavity of the scapula (cavitas glenoidalis);

Glenoid cavity of the scapula (cavitas glenoidalis)
Glenoid cavity of the scapula (cavitas glenoidalis)
Glenoid cavity of the scapula (cavitas glenoidalis)
Glenoid cavity of the scapula (cavitas glenoidalis)
Glenoid cavity of the scapula (cavitas glenoidalis)
Glenoid cavity of the scapula (cavitas glenoidalis)
Glenoid cavity of the scapula (cavitas glenoidalis)
Glenoid cavity of the scapula (cavitas glenoidalis)

and the head of the humerus (caput humeri).

Head of the humerus (caput humeri)
Head of the humerus (caput humeri)

The joint capsule is quite thin, elastic, poorly strengthened with ligaments, so the joint is often dislocated in various directions.

The articular capsule is attached along the edge of the glenoid labrum (labrum glenoidale)

Glenoid labrum (labrum glenoidale)
Glenoid labrum (labrum glenoidale)
Glenoid labrum (labrum glenoidale)
Glenoid labrum (labrum glenoidale)

on the scapula and along the anatomical neck (collum anatomicum) on the humerus.

Anatomical neck (collum anatomicum)
Anatomical neck (collum anatomicum)
Anatomical neck (collum anatomicum)
Anatomical neck (collum anatomicum)

According to the classification, the joint is spheroidal, multiaxial, simple and not combined.

The following range of motions is possible in the joint:

  • around the frontal axis: flexion and extension

  • around the sagittal axis: abduction and adduction

  • around the vertical axis: rotation

  • When shifting from the frontal axis to the sagittal, circumduction (circumductio) is carried out

    The fixing apparatus of the joint is represented by several ligaments:

  • The coracohumeral ligament (ligamentum coracohumerale) begins at the external edge and base of the coracoid process of the scapula and, running in external and inferior directions, inserts into the superior part of the anatomical neck of the humerus.

    Coracohumeral ligament (lig. coracohumerale)
    Coracohumeral ligament (lig. coracohumerale)
  • Glenohumeral ligaments (ligamenta glenohumeralia) – are located under the fibrous layer of the capsule and additionally strengthen the joint.

    Glenohumeral ligaments (lig. glenohumerale inferius)
    Glenohumeral ligaments (lig. glenohumerale inferius)
    Glenohumeral ligaments (lig. glenohumerale medius)
    Glenohumeral ligaments (lig. glenohumerale medius)
    Glenohumeral ligaments (lig. glenohumerale superius)
    Glenohumeral ligaments (lig. glenohumerale superius)

    There are several additional structures to this joint.

  • The glenoid labrum (labrum glenoidale), which deepens the glenoid cavity

    Glenoid labrum (labrum glenoidale)
    Glenoid labrum (labrum glenoidale)
  • The axillary synovial bursa (bursa synovialis axillaris). It does not communicate with the joint cavity.

  • The subtendinous bursa of the subscapularis muscle (bursa subtendinea m. subscapularis) is located at the base of the coracoid process of the scapula, under the tendon of the subscapularis muscle. It communicates with the joint cavity.

  • The intertubercular tendon sheath (vagina tendinis intertubercularis) envelops the tendon of the long head of the biceps brachii muscle, running through the joint above the head of the humerus.

    Intertubercular tendon sheath (vagina tendinis intertubercularis)
    Intertubercular tendon sheath (vagina tendinis intertubercularis)
  • The subdeltoid bursa (bursa subdeltoidea) does not communicate with the joint cavity.

    The following vessels and nerves take part in the blood supply and innervation of the joint.

  • Arteries: supracapular artery (a. suprascapularis), anterior circumflex humeral artery (a. circumflexa humeri anterior), posterior circumflex humeral artery (a. circumflexa humeri posterior), circumflex scapular artery (a. circumflexa scapulae), thoraco-acromial artery (a. thoracoacromialis)

  • Veins: suprascapular vein (v. suprascapularis)

  • Nerves: axillary nerve (n. axillaris)

Dictionary

Shoulder joint

shoulder joint
articulatio humeri
scapula
scapula
humerus
humerus
glenoid cavity of the scapula
cavitas glenoidalis
head of the humerus
caput humeri
labrum
labrum glenoidale
anatomical neck
collum anatomicum
coracohumeral ligament
ligamentum coracohumerale
glenohumeral ligaments
ligamenta glenohumeralia
axillary synovial bursa
bursa synovialis axillaris
subtendinous bursa of the subscapularis muscle
bursa subtendinea musculi subscapularis
intertubercular tendon sheath
vagina tendinis intertubercularis
subdeltoid bursa
bursa subdeltoidea
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