Interactive Guide to Physical Examination

The Shoulder - Anatomy Review

The wide range of motion of the shoulder makes it one of the joints most susceptible to injury. The shoulder is composed of three different joints: the glenohumeral joint (where the humeral head and the glenoid fossa articulate), the sternoclavicular joint (the articulation between the clavicle and the sternum) and the acromioclavicular joint (where the lateral clavicle meets the acromion process).

There are also three major muscle groups: the scapulohumeral group extending from the scapula to the humerus (the deltoid, teres major and the rotator cuff), the axioscapular group attaching the trunk to the scapula (trapezius, rhomboids, serratus anterior and levator scapulae) and the axiohumeral group attaching the trunk to the humerus (pectoralis major, pectoralis minor and latissimus dorsi). Reviewing shoulder anatomy will help in your examination of this region.

View interactive module Click on the interactive icon to review shoulder anatomy.