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Palpation of soft tissue

Palpation of the deltoid muscle The deltoid muscle is easy to recognize. It forms the most important muscular mass of the
shoulder and is responsible for its round look.The anterior portion overlies the anterior border of the acromion and the lesser
tuberosity. The middle portion lies over the lateral border of the acramion and the greater tuberosity, and the posterior portion builds the posterior aspect of the shoulder and covers the lateral part of the spine of the scapula.

for the posterior margin of the spine and follow this further laterally where it becomes more prominent. The spine can be felt to make a 90°
forwards turn
– the acromial angle
– before it forms the acromion.Together with the acromial end of the clavicle and the coracoacromial ligament it forms the coracoacramial roof.

The spine divides the scapula into a supraspinous fossa and an infraspinous fossa, in which lie, respectively, the supraspinatus and
the infraspinatus muscle bellies. Place the subject sitting with the arm in 90° abduction and palpate in the supraspinous fossa in a lateral direction. The spine of the scapula is felt to meet the clavicle. At this point lies the posterior aspect of the acromioclavicular joint. Place the thumb at this point and palpate simultaneously for the anterior indentation.

Ask the subject to abduct the arm against resistance. A groove can be palpated between the anterior and middle portions of the
deltoid. This overlies the bicipital groove.

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