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Scalenus posterior muscle

The scalenus posterior (posterior scalene) is one of the three scalene muscles in the neck.


  • origin: transverse processes of lower two or three cervical vertebrae (C5-C7)
  • insertion: outer surface of second rib
  • action:
    • raises second rib (respiratory inspiration)
    • acting together: neck flexion
    • acting on one side: lateral neck flexion and rotation
  • nerve supply: ventral rami of cervical nerves C6-C8 from the cervical plexus

Gross anatomy

Anatomy: Head and neck

Anatomy: Head and neck

Article information

rID: 12653
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Posterior scalene muscle

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: nerve to scalenes
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  • Figure 2: cervical plexus labeled
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  • Figure 3: deep neck muscles (Gray's illustration)
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