Scapula

Scapula: Anatomy & FunctionKey facts about the anatomy of the scapula
~ 3 min

The bones of the shoulder girdle (cingulum membri superioris) include the clavicle (clavicula) and the scapula (scapula).

Scapula (scapula)
Scapula (scapula)

The scapula is a pair of flat triangular bones. It has two surfaces:

  • Posterior/dorsal surface (facies posterior/dorsalis)

Posterior/dorsal surface (facies posterior/dorsalis)
Posterior/dorsal surface (facies posterior/dorsalis)
  • The anterior/costal surface (facies anterior/costalis), also called the subscapular fossa (fossa subscapularis)

    Anterior /costal surface / subscapular fossa (facies anterior / costalis / fossa subscapularis)
    Anterior /costal surface / subscapular fossa (facies anterior / costalis / fossa subscapularis)

    There are also three borders:

  • The medial border (margo medialis)

  • The lateral border (margo lateralis)

  • The superior border (margo superior), which has a suprascapular notch (incisura scapulae). The suprascapular artery and the suprascapular nerve pass through this notch.

    Medial border (margo medialis)
    Medial border (margo medialis)
    Lateral border (margo lateralis)
    Lateral border (margo lateralis)
    Superior border (margo superior)
    Superior border (margo superior)
    Suprascapular notch (incisura scapulae)
    Suprascapular notch (incisura scapulae)

    The scapula has three angles:

  • The superior angle (angulus superior)

    Superior angle (angulus superior)
    Superior angle (angulus superior)
  • The inferior angle (angulus inferior)

    Inferior angle (angulus inferior)
    Inferior angle (angulus inferior)
  • The lateral (acromial) angle (angulus lateralis/acromialis)

Lateral (acromial) angle (angulus lateralis / acromialis)
Lateral (acromial) angle (angulus lateralis / acromialis)

On the dorsal surface, there is a large prominence called the spine of the scapula (spina scapulae).

Spine of the scapula (spina scapulae)
Spine of the scapula (spina scapulae)

Above this lies the supraspinous fossa (fossa supraspinata), containing the supraspinatus, and below the spine lies the infraspinous fossa (fossa infraspinata), where the infraspinatus is located.

Supraspinous fossa (fossa supraspinata)
Supraspinous fossa (fossa supraspinata)
Infraspinous fossa (fossa infraspinata)
Infraspinous fossa (fossa infraspinata)

On the lateral side, the spine of the scapula extends in the form of a large process — the acromion (acromion).

Acromion (acromion)
Acromion (acromion)

It has a clavicular facet (facies articularis clavicularis) that connects to the acromial end of the clavicle.

Clavicular facet (facies articularis clavicularis)
Clavicular facet (facies articularis clavicularis)

The base of the lateral angle of the scapula is slightly narrowed and is called the neck of the scapula (collum scapulae).

Neck of the scapula (collum scapulae)
Neck of the scapula (collum scapulae)

Furthermore, around the lateral angle lies the glenoid cavity (cavitas glenoidalis), which, together with the head of the humerus, is involved in the formation of the shoulder joint.

Glenoid cavity (cavitas glenoidalis)
Glenoid cavity (cavitas glenoidalis)

Above this cavity is the supraglenoid tubercle (tuberculum supraglenoidale) and below the infraglenoid tubercle (tuberculum infraglenoidale).

Supraglenoid tubercle (tuberculum supraglenoidale)
Supraglenoid tubercle (tuberculum supraglenoidale)
Infraglenoid tubercle (tuberculum infraglenoidale)
Infraglenoid tubercle (tuberculum infraglenoidale)

From the superior border of the scapula extends another process — the coracoid process (processus coracoideus), which is the attachment point for several muscles and ligaments.

Coracoid process (processus coracoideus)
Coracoid process (processus coracoideus)
Dictionary

Scapula (Shoulder blade)

cingulum membri superioris
shoulder girdle
clavicula
clavicle
scapula
scapula
facies posterior/dorsalis
posterior/dorsal surface
facies anterior/costalis
anterior/costal surface
fossa subscapularis
subscapular fossa
margo medialis
medial border
margo lateralis
lateral border
margo superior
superior border
incisura scapulae
suprascapular notch
angulus superior
superior angle
angulus inferior
inferior angle
angulus lateralis
lateral angle
spina scapulae
spine of scapula
fossa supraspinata
supraspinous fossa
fossa infraspinata
infraspinous fossa
acromion
acromion
facies articularis clavicularis
clavicular facet
collum scapulae
neck of scapula
cavitas glenoidalis
glenoid cavity
tuberculum supraglenoidale
supraglenoid tubercle
tuberculum infraglenoidale
infraglenoid tubercle
processus coracoideus
coracoid process
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