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Subcoracoid bursa

Last revised by Dr Daniel J Bell on 13 Jul 2021

The subcoracoid bursa is located anterior to subscapularis and beneath the coracoid process and extends caudal to the conjoined tendons of coracobrachialis and short head of biceps brachii. Fluid in the subcoracoid bursa does not normally communicate with the glenohumeral joint but may communicate with the subacromial bursa.

Differential diagnosis

  • subscapularis recess
    • does not extend as caudal as the subcoracoid bursa
    • communicates with the glenohumeral joint

Related pathology

Large effusions of the subcoracoid bursa are often associated with anterior rotator cuff tears 2

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: shoulder bursae illustration (creative commons image)
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  • Figure 2: shoulder bursa (Gray's illustration)
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  • Case 1: sagittal T2
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  • Case 1: axial STIR
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