Scapular medial rotation

Last revised by Edward Zhou on 7 Oct 2021

Scapular medial rotation describes the rotation of the scapula (scapulothoracic joint) such that the glenoid fossa faces downwards - thus it may also be called downward rotation. It is the opposite of scapular lateral rotation - similarly, this motion requires motion at the sternoclavicular and acromioclavicular joints.

The mechanism of medial rotation is usually gravity, with control of the motion facilitated by active lengthening of the trapezius and serratus anterior. Occasionally, if this is insufficient, the levator scapulae, rhomboid major and minor, and pectoralis minor muscles are recruited as prime movers to effect medial rotation 1,2.

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: Scapulothoracic joint movements
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  • Figure 2: Muscles that position that pectoral girdle (diagram)
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