Anatomy of the pectoral and scapular regions

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Anatomy of the pectoral and scapular regions

Upper limb


Bones of the upper limb

Fascia, vessels and nerves of the upper limb

Anatomy of the brachial plexus

Anatomy of the pectoral and scapular regions

Anatomy of the arm

Muscles of the forearm

Vessels and nerves of the forearm

Muscles of the hand

Anatomy of the sternoclavicular and acromioclavicular joints

Anatomy of the glenohumeral joint

Anatomy of the elbow joint

Anatomy of the radioulnar joints

Joints of the wrist and hand

Anatomy of the axilla

Anatomy clinical correlates

Anatomy clinical correlates: Clavicle and shoulder

Anatomy clinical correlates: Axilla

Anatomy clinical correlates: Arm, elbow and forearm

Anatomy clinical correlates: Wrist and hand

Anatomy clinical correlates: Median, ulnar and radial nerves


Anatomy of the pectoral and scapular regions

USMLE® Step 1 questions

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USMLE® Step 1 style questions USMLE

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A 60-year-old man is found to have thickening of the supraspinatus muscle on a shoulder MRI. Which of the following best describes the function of the supraspinatus muscle? 

Memory Anchors and Partner Content



Evode Iradufasha, MD

Sam Gillespie, BSc

Patricia Nguyen, MScBMC

Elizabeth Nixon-Shapiro, MSMI, CMI

The pectoral and scapular regions consist of various structures that include muscles, blood vessels, and nerves; which all act together to make our upper limbs functional. The muscles of the pectoral region are divided into groups based on their locations.

There are axio-appendicular muscles, which extend between the axial and appendicular skeletons; and the scapulohumeral muscles, which specifically connect the scapula to the humerus.

First, let’s take a look at the axio-appendicular muscles, which are divided into two large groups: the anterior and posterior groups of muscles.

The anterior axio-appendicular group is composed of four muscles: the pectoralis major, pectoralis minor, the subclavius, and the serratus anterior.

The pectoralis major is a relatively flat, fan shaped muscle, which covers the upper half of the thorax.

This muscle has two proximal attachments also called heads. The first one is the clavicular head, which attaches proximally to the medial half of the clavicle.

Below it, there’s another much larger part called the sternocostal head, which attaches proximally to the anterior surface of the sternum and the superior six costal cartilages.

Both the clavicular and the sternocostal heads converge distally and then attach to the lateral lip of the intertubercular groove of the humerus.

Superolaterally, the clavicular head of the pectoralis major lies adjacent to the deltoid muscle.


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