Where is the Scapula? Function and Diseases

The scapula is medically referred to as the scapula. It is a large, triangular-shaped bone in the back at the back of the shoulder. The arm bone connects the humerus to the collarbone and clavicle. In fact, the only real joint that connects our arm to the trunk is the joint between the scapula’s acromion protrusion above the shoulder and the collarbone. This is called the acromioclavicular joint. The scapula does not form a true articulation with the chest wall on which it rests. However, the scapula has to move on the chest wall during arm movements, and its relationship with the trunk can also be described with the expression “scapulothoracic joint” to emphasize this movement. The most prominent joint made by the scapula is the “glenohumeral joint” with the arm bone.

Scapula Shape

The anterior surface of the scapula is slightly dimpled to fit the chest wall. This pit is called the subscapular fossa. The posterior surface is divided into two unequal parts by a projection called the spina scapula. The upper part of the spina scapula covers a smaller area; It is called the supraspinatus fossa. The wider lower part is the infraspinatus fossa.

The outer upper corner of the scapula enlarges to form the glenoid pit where the humerus articulates. The tip of the spina scapula, called the acromion, limits the shoulder from above. Anteroposterior to the glenoid pit is the coracoid process, another extension of the bone.

Muscles Attached to the Scapula

The muscles that move the scapula are called the stabilizing muscles of the scapula. The trapezius muscle is a large muscle that extends from the neck and back spine to the collarbone and scapula. The levator scapula muscle extends from the neck vertebrae to the upper edge of the scapula. It allows to raise the scapula up, as in the shrug. The rhomboid muscle, which consists of large and small parts, extends from the dorsal spine to the inner edge of the scapula. Pulls the scapula back. The serratus anterior muscle originates from the 1st to 8th ribs and attaches to the anterior edge of the scapula. It pulls the scapula to the chest wall.

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The muscles that attach to the scapula and provide rotational movement of the shoulder are called the rotator cuff muscles. These are the subscapularis, teres minor, supraspinatus, and infraspinatus muscles. They perform the movement of turning the shoulder inward and outward.

The biceps, triceps and deltoid muscles attached to the scapula bone provide various movements of the shoulder joint.

The Importance of the Scapula

Since it is a bone that forms the shoulder joint, the scapula gains importance in various shoulder problems. For example, the shape of the acromion protrusion may predispose to shoulder impingement syndrome .

Fractures of the scapula are not very common, but they can occur in severe trauma.

Due to the inflammation of the bursa, which facilitates the movement between the chest wall and the chest wall, a feeling of friction and cracking can be heard. Sometimes, a mass formed in the bone or improper union of the fracture can also cause a sound from the scapula .

Weakness in the serratus anterior muscle, which pulls the scapula forward, and damage to the nerve that stimulates this muscle can cause the bone to protrude posteriorly. This is called the wing scapula.

If there is an imbalance between the muscles that move the scapula in terms of strength and flexibility, movement abnormalities can be seen. This is called scapular dyskinesia.

The muscles around the scapula are common sites of myofascial pain syndrome. Trigger points, also known as gripes , pain and tenderness may occur in the muscles .

Pancreas, gallbladder, spleen problems with referred pain from internal organs such as the mechanism of pain in the scapular can.

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