Understanding the Anatomy of the Shoulder

 

The shoulder is one of the biggest and most mobile joints in the human body. Formed by the meeting of the shoulder blade and upper arm bone, as well as a collection of muscles and other connective tissues, the shoulder has tremendous range of motion. If you are experiencing shoulder pain, consult with an orthopedic surgeon about your symptoms and possible treatment options.

Shoulder Joint Bones

  • Clavicle: One of three major bones that make up the shoulder joint. The clavicle is a long, thin bone that connects to the scapula, or shoulder blade. As any shoulder doctor can attest, the clavicle is also prone to breakage.
  • Scapula: Another bone that comprises the shoulder joint. The scapula is large, flat, and triangular.
  • Acromion: A bony projection of the scapula that connects with the clavicle bone.
  • Humerus: The third major bone that makes up the shoulder joint. The humerus is the upper arm bone that fits into the scapula, creating a ball and socket formation.
  • Coracoid Process: Another bony projection of the scapula characterized by a hook-like appearance.

Shoulder Joint Connective Tissues

  • Labrum: A cuff of cartilage that forms the cup where the humerus meets the scapula.
  • Rotator Cuff: A collection of muscles and tendons that stabilize the shoulder joint and keep the humerus and scapula in place. The rotator cuff is comprised of 4 muscles: the teres minor, the infraspinatus, the supraspinatus, and the subscapularis.
  • Bursa: A sac of fluid that cushions the rotator cuff tendons and lubricates the shoulder joint.

The complexity of the shoulder joint also leaves it highly vulnerable to injury and deterioration. Rotator cuff tears, labrum tears, and shoulder arthritis are extremely common. Yet with early intervention by a capable orthopedic surgeon, many shoulder problems can be effectively managed or treated.

Are you suffering from shoulder pain? Dr. Steven Struhl, MD provides experienced orthopedic care for patients in the greater New York area. If you require the services of a shoulder or knee doctor, contact us today at (888) 451-8890.

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