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Duke Orthopaedics
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Wheeless' Textbook of Orthopaedics

Anatomy of Rotator Cuff     


- See: Rotator Cuff Tear

- Discussion:
    - see abductors of the shoulder;
    - common tendon covering top, front, & back of humeral head;
    - 4 muscles fuse to form this tendon: (subscapularis, supraspinatus,, infraspinatus, teres minor;)
    - supraspinatus
          - lies directly over top of humeral head & is an abductor;
          - it is predisposed to degenerative changes because of its location between humeral head & acromion, which compress tendon during shoulder movement  (see impingement)
    - infraspinatus & teres minor - cover back of humeral head & are external rotators;
    - distal aspect of the rotator cuff, the supraspinatus and infraspinatus tendons splay out and interdigitate, forming a common continuous insertion on middle facet of the humeral greater tuberosity;
    - subscapularis: crosses front of shoulder joint, is internal rotator and reinforces anterior capsule;
    - innervation:
          - supraspinatus & infraspinatus are supplied by the suprascapular nerve;
          - teres minor is supplied by axillary nerve;
          - subscapularis is supplied by subscapular nerve;
    - blood supply:
          - blood supply to the rotator cuff is derived from 6 arteries;
                 - anterior humeral circumflex
                        - is major supplier to anterior cuff & long head of the biceps;
                 - postrior humeral circumflex
                        - along w/ suprascapular branch supplies the posterior cuff;
                 - suprascapular
                 - thoracoacromial arteries
                        - supplies the supraspinatus
                 - suprahumeral
                 - subscapular


Humeral Insertion of the Supraspinatus and Infraspinatus. New Anatomical Findings Regarding the Footprint of the Rotator Cuff 
Tendons, ligaments, and capsule of the rotator cuff. Gross and microscopic anatomy.
Anatomy of the coraco-acromial arch. Relation to degeneration of the acromion.
The relative strengths of the rotator cuff muscles. A cadaver study.
The relationship of the glenohumeral joint capsule to the rotator cuff.
Anatomic relationships in the shoulder impingement syndrome.
The Biomechanical Relevance of Anterior Rotator Cuff Cable Tears in a Cadaveric Shoulder Model



Original Text by Clifford R. Wheeless, III, MD.

Last updated by Data Trace Staff on Wednesday, October 30, 2013 9:58 am