Last revised by Daniel J Bell on 24 Nov 2021

The scapula (plural: scapulae) is a roughly triangular shaped bone of the pectoral girdle with several articulations connecting to the humerus and clavicle

The main part of the scapula, the body, consists of a somewhat triangular-shaped flat blade, with an inferiorly pointing apex, referred to as the inferior angle as well as lateral and superior angles. The scapula is described as having superior, medial, and lateral borders. 

Posteriorly, the scapula is divided into a supraspinous fossa and infraspinous fossa by the scapular spine. Anteriorly, on the costal surface, is the shallow subscapular fossa. 

Laterally is the glenoid fossa, anteriorly is the coracoid process and superiorly is the acromion that is continuous with the scapular spine and arcs anteriorly over the humeral head. The suprascapular notch lies immediately medial to the base of the coracoid process. The spinoglenoid notch lies posteriorly behind the neck.

The scapula is surrounded by an arterial anastomosis, the scapular anastomosis which aims to ensure an adequate supply of blood to the upper limb, but has the added benefit of adequate supply to the bone itself. It consists of the:

See "ossification centers of the pectoral girdle" for information on the scapular ossification centers.

17 muscles attach to the scapula (in alphabetic order):

  1. biceps brachii (both heads)
  2. coracobrachialis
  3. deltoideus
  4. infraspinatus
  5. latissimus dorsi
  6. levator scapulae
  7. omohyoid inferior belly
  8. pectoralis minor
  9. rhomboid major
  10. rhomboid minor
  11. serratus anterior
  12. subscapularis
  13. supraspinatus
  14. teres major
  15. teres minor
  16. trapezius
  17. triceps brachii (long head)

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1
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  • Figure 2
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  • Figure 3
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  • Figure 4
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  • Figure 5
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  • Figure 6a: muscle attachments (Gray's illustration)
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  • Figure 6b: muscle attachments (Gray's illustration)
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  • Figure 7: lateral view (Gray's illustration)
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  • Figure 8: ossification centers (Gray's illustrations)
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