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Scapulothoracic Articulation

The scapulothoracic articulation is not a true joint; rather, it represents the space between the concave surface of the anterior scapula and the convex surface of the posterior chest wall. The muscular and ligamentous attachments provide the stability of this articulation as the scapula retracts, protracts, and rotates along the posterior chest wall.

Williams et al.It divided the anatomical structures of this articulation into three layers: superficial, intermediate, and deep. The trapezius and latissimus dorsi muscles and an inconsistent bursa between the latissimus and inferior angle of the scapula comprise the superficial layer.

The intermediate layer is composed of the rhomboid major and the rhomboid minor, the levator scapulae muscles, and the spinal accessory nerve and bursa between the superomedial scapula and trapezius muscle. The spinal accessory nerve travels closely along this bursa at an average of 2.7 cm lateral to the superomedial scapular angle. Finally, the deep layer consists of the serratus anterior and subscapularis muscles and the corresponding scapulothoracic and subscapularis bursa.

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