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The Anatomy of the Rotator Cuff

Orthopedic doctors often treat patients with rotator cuff tears and similar injuries. These conditions often cause pain and weakness, and they interfere with your ability to perform daily activities. If your orthopedic doctor diagnoses you with a rotator cuff condition, it can be helpful to have a basic understanding of the anatomy of the area. The rotator cuff is located in the shoulder. It consists of several muscles and tendons, which allow for range of motion and stability. The following muscles make up the rotator cuff.

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Supraspinatus
The scapula is the clinical term for the shoulder blade. The supraspinatus muscle begins just above the spine of the shoulder blade and connects to the humerus, which is the upper arm bone. This rotator cuff muscle is critical for daily movement because it allows you to elevate your shoulder joint. Its other primary function is to provide stabilization for the area in which the end of the humerus meets the shoulder joint.

Infraspinatus
The infraspinatus is located below the supraspinatus. It starts below the spine of the shoulder blade and connects to the posterior side of the humerus. The primary function of the infraspinatus is to allow for the external rotation of the shoulder joint. Like the supraspinatus and the other rotator cuff muscles, the infraspinatus also helps to stabilize the end of the humerus.

Teres Minor
If your orthopedic doctor informs you that you’ve torn the teres minor, this refers to the muscle that begins on the lateral side of the scapula. The other end of the teres minor connects to an area on the humerus. The teres minor provides the same functions as the infraspinatus.

Subscapularis
Orthopedic conditions may sometimes involve the subscapularis, which is a broader rotator cuff muscle connecting the upper arm bone to the shoulder blade. When you raise your arm, the subscapularis presses down on the head of the humerus, providing for better movement.

Patients who suffer a rotator cuff injury and delay seeking orthopedic treatment are likely to sustain even greater damage. Safeguard your health by scheduling an appointment with Able Orthopedic & Sports Medicine. You can reach our orthopedic clinic in Forest Hills, New York by calling (718) 897-2228.

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Able Orthopedic & Sports Medicine, PC
Located at
76-55 Austin Street
Forest Hills, NY 11375
Phone: (718) 897-2228
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