Glenohumeral joint


The glenohumeral joint is commonly called the shoulder joint. It is created by the joining of the head of the humerus and the glenoid cavity which can be found on the scapula.

The shoulder joint is the most freely moving of the joints, a ball and socket joint. Circling the rim of the shoulder joint there is a band of cartilage that traces the opening to create a deeper cavity.


This is often referred to as the glenoid labrum. There is an arch formed for the purpose of protection by the acromion and coracoid processes of the scapula and by the clavicle.

The majority of the stability of the shoulder is in effect placed on the responsibility of the muscles and tendons which attach to it, as the ligaments are not in a strengthening position. This is a case where nature decided to forego stability for the sake of motion and potential strength.


Glenohumeral joint
Image: Glenohumeral Joint
There is a ligament that extends from the coracoid process to the greater tubercle of the humerus called the coracohumeral ligament. 3 ligament like bands form a reinforcement of the joint known as the glenohumeral ligaments. The last line of shoulder support comes from the transverse humeral retinaculum.


This thin band stretches from the greater to the lesser tubercle of the humerus. The shoulder joint has 4 bursae, 2 major and 2 minor. The subdeltoid bursae can be found between the deltoid muscle and the capsule of the joint. The smaller of the bursae can be located between the joint capsule and the acromion and is known as the subacromial bursa.

An additional bursa which is positioned between the coracoid process and the joint capsule can be considered part of the smaller set of bursa and is known as the subcoracoid bursa. Between the tendon of the subscapularis and the capsule of the joint a final bursa known as the subscapular bursa can be discovered.
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