Subscapularis muscle

Last revised by Ciro Menna Barreto Duarte on 29 Sep 2023

The subscapularis muscle is one of the four muscles that make up the rotator cuff, the others being: supraspinatus, infraspinatus and teres minor.


  • origin: subscapular fossa of the scapula

  • insertion: lesser tubercle of the humerus and up to 40% may insert at surgical neck

    • some fibers also extend to the greater tubercle and bicipital groove

  • arterial supplysuprascapular, axillary and subscapular arteries 1

  • innervation: upper and lower subscapular nerves (C5-6)

  • action: internal rotation of the humerus, adduction of the humerus, stabilizes the shoulder joint

  • bursa: lies between subscapularis tendon and glenoid neck

    • communicates with the joint cavity via the foramen of Weitbrecht (between the superior and middle glenohumeral ligament)

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