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Scapulothoracic Joint

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  • Biomechanics
  • Scapula resting position
    • Rotated anteriorly 30° relative to trunk
    • Tilted forward 20° in sagittal plane
  • Range of motion
  • Arm elevation: 30° glenohumeral joint, next 60° is combination of scapulothoracic and glenohumeral motion[2]
  • Bursa
    • Scapulothoracic bursa are neglected entirely or poorly understood in anatomy textbooks
    • Infraserratus bursa: between Serratus Anterior and chest wall
    • Supraserratus bursa: between Subscapularis and serratus anterior
    • Minor bursa inconsistently found at
      • Superomedial angle of scapula
      • Inferior angle of the scapula
      • Trapezoid bursa
  • Ligaments
    • Transverse scapular ligament


  • Dorsal scapular artery runs deep to rhomboids and levator 1 to 2 cm medial to scapula


Clinical Significance

See Also


  1. Freedman L, Munro RH. Abduction of the arm in scapular plane: scapular and glenohumeral movements. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1966;18:1503.
  2. Bergmann G. Biomechanics and pathomechanics of the shoulder joint with reference to prosthetic joint replacement. In: Kolbel R, Helbig B, Blauth W, editors. , eds. Shoulder Replacement. Berlin: Springer-Verlag; 1987:33-43
Created by:
John Kiel on 25 February 2020 18:21:02
Last edited:
27 February 2020 06:51:43