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The shoulder consists of a ball-and-socket joint formed by the humerus and scapula and their surrounding structures - ligaments, muscles, tendons - which support the bones and maintain the relationship of one to another.[1][2] These supporting structures attach to the clavicle, humerus, and scapula, the latter providing the glenoid cavity, acromion and coracoid processes. The main joint of the shoulder is the shoulder joint (or glenohumeral joint), between the humerus and the glenoid process of the scapular.[1] The acromioclavicular joint and sternoclavicular joint also play a role in shoulder movements.[3] White hyaline cartilage on the ends of the bones (called articular cartilage) allows the bones to glide and move on each other, and the joint space is surrounded by a synovial membrane. Around the joint space are muscles - the rotator cuff, which directly surrounds and attaches to the shoulder joint - and other muscles that help provide stability and facilitate movement.

Two filmy sac-like structures called bursae permit smooth gliding between bone, muscle, and tendon. They cushion and protect the rotator cuff from the bony arch of the acromion.

The glenoid labrum is the second kind of cartilage in the shoulder which is distinctly different from the articular cartilage. This cartilage is more fibrous or rigid than the cartilage on the ends of the ball and socket. Also, this cartilage is also found only around the socket where it is attached.[4]

Shoulder joint

 It is a ball and socket joint that allows the arm to rotate in a circular fashion or to hinge out and up away from the body. It is formed by the articulation between the head of the humerus and the lateral scapula (specifically-the glenoid cavity of the scapula). The "ball" of the joint is the rounded, medial anterior surface of the humerus and the "socket" is formed by the glenoid cavity, the dish-shaped portion of the lateral scapula. The shallowness of the cavity and relatively loose connections between the shoulder and the rest of the body allows the arm to have tremendous mobility, at the expense of being much easier to dislocate than most other joints in the body. There is an approximately 4-to-1 disproportion in size between the large head of the humerus and the shallow glenoid cavity. The glenoid cavity is made deeper by the addition of the fibrocartilaginous ring of the glenoid labrum.

The capsule is a soft tissue envelope that encircles the glenohumeral joint and attaches to the scapula, humerus, and head of the biceps. It is lined by a thin, smooth synovial membrane. This capsule is strengthened by the coracohumeral ligament which attaches the coracoid process of the scapula to the greater tubercle of the humerus. There are also three other ligaments attaching the lesser tubercle of the humerus to lateral scapula and are collectively called the glenohumeral ligaments.

The transverse humeral ligament, which passes from the lesser tubercle to the greater tubercle of humerus, covers the intertubercular groove, in which the long head of biceps brachii travels.



Anatomy Review

Functional ROM and Joint Play

Range of Motion

Upper Extremity Myotomes

Upper Extremity Cutaneous Innervation


Slap Repair Type 2 and Type 4 - Slap repair

Rotator Cuff Repair - Moon Protocol

Total Shoulder Arthroplasty - Cleveland Clinic 

Total Shoulder Arthroplasty - South Shore Ortho

Bankart with Anterior Stabilization - Vanderbilt Med

Sub-Acromial Decompression - Syracuse Sports Med

AC Joint Reconstruction - Mass General Hospital

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