Anatomy of the Shoulder

Shoulder Overview

The most flexible joint in the entire human body is the shoulder joint. It is also one of the largest and most complex joints. The shoulder is made up of three bones: the scapula, clavicle and humerus – or more commonly; the shoulder blade, collarbone and arm bone.  The shoulder anatomy is made up of four small joints, not just one large shoulder joint. These joints are called the acromioclavicular, sternoclavicular, scapulothoracic (SC) and glenohumeral joints. They work together to provide a large range of motion, making the shoulder one of the most mobile joints in the body. Dr. James Mazzara, serving the Manchester, South Windsor, Enfield, Glastonbury and surrounding Hartford Connecticut communities, has special training and experience in diagnosing and treating conditions of the shoulder.

Anatomy of a Shoulder

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Are you experiencing shoulder pain?

There are two ways to initiate a consultation with Dr. Mazzara:

You can provide current X-rays and/or MRIs for a clinical case review with Dr. Mazzara.

You can schedule an office consultation with Dr. Mazzara.

What are the Structures of the Shoulder?

Shoulder anatomy includes structures that help stabilize, move and cushion the ball and socket joint. These structures include cartilage, ligaments, tendons and muscles, all working together to cushion, connect and attach the shoulder joint.

Some of these structures include:

Rotator Cuff – One of the more well-known parts of shoulder anatomy, the Rotator Cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint. Its job is to hold the head of the upper arm bone firmly within the shallow socket of the shoulder.

Bursa – The bursa is a small sac of fluid, or lubricated cushion, located at points of friction between the bone and surrounding soft tissue.  Its job is to protect and cushion the rotator cuff.

Labrum – The labrum is a piece of rubber-like cartilage that is attached to the rim of the shoulder socket. The labrum’s job is to keep the ball of the joint in place and to prevent dislocation.

Understanding shoulder anatomy can be complex, but not impossible. The shoulder joint allows a wide range of movement, making work and play possible. Shoulder injuries are common, however and should be evaluated by Dr. James Mazzara.

For more information on shoulder anatomy please contact the office of Dr. James Mazzara serving Manchester, Enfield, South Windsor, Glastonbury and the surrounding Hartford communities.