Scalenus posterior muscle

Last revised by Daniel J Bell on 22 Jul 2022

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


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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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