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    Anatomy of the Shoulder

    Anatomy of the shoulder
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    The shoulder is made up of several layers, including the following:

    • Bones. The collarbone (clavicle), the shoulder blade (scapula), and the upper arm bone (humerus).

    • Joints. The place where movement occurs, including the following:

      • Sternoclavicular joint (where the clavicle meets the sternum)

      • Acromioclavicular (AC) joint (where the clavicle meets the acromion)

      • Shoulder joint (glenohumeral joint). A ball-and-socket joint that facilitates forward, circular, and backward movement of the shoulder.

    • Ligaments. White, shiny, flexible bands of fibrous tissue that holds joints together and connect various bones, including the following:

      • Joint capsule. A group of ligaments that connect the humerus to the socket of the shoulder joint on the scapula to stabilize the shoulder and keep it from dislocating.

      • Ligaments that attach the clavicle to the acromion

      • Ligaments that connect the clavicle to the scapula by attaching to the coracoid process

    • Acromion. The roof or highest point of the shoulder that is formed by a part of the scapula.

    • Tendons. The tough cords of tissue that connect muscles to bones. The rotator cuff tendons are a group of tendons that connect the deepest layer of muscles to the humerus.

    • Muscles. Help support and rotate the shoulder in many directions. Facilitate movement of the shoulder. 

    • Rotator cuff. Name of a group of muscles and tendons that rotate and raise the shoulder.

    • Bursa. A closed space between 2 moving surfaces that has a small amount of lubricating fluid inside. It is located between the rotator cuff muscle layer and the outer layer of large, bulky muscles.

    Online Medical Reviewer: Banerjee, Rahul, MD
    Online Medical Reviewer: Bellendir, Trina, MSPT, CLT
    Online Medical Reviewer: Dozier, Tennille, RN, BSN, RDMS
    Online Medical Reviewer: Joseph, Thomas N., MD
    Date Last Reviewed: 6/1/2018
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