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Articular capsule of the humerus
Gray327.png
Capsule of shoulder-joint (distended). Anterior aspect.
Gray's subject #83 317

The articular capsule of the humerus is the articular capsule of the shoulder joint. It completely encircles the joint, being attached, above, to the circumference of the glenoid cavity beyond the glenoidal labrum; below, to the anatomical neck of the humerus, approaching nearer to the articular cartilage above than in the rest of its extent.

It is thicker above and below than elsewhere, and is so remarkably loose and lax, that it has no action in keeping the bones in contact, but allows them to be separated from each other more than 2.5 cm., an evident provision for that extreme freedom of movement which is peculiar to this articulation.

It is strengthened, above, by the Supraspinatus; below, by the long head of the Triceps brachii; behind, by the tendons of the Infraspinatus and Teres minor; and in front, by the tendon of the Subscapularis.

Openings

There are usually three openings in the capsule.

  • One anteriorly, below the coracoid process, establishes a communication between the joint and a bursa beneath the tendon of the Subscapularis.
  • The second, which is not constant, is at the posterior part, where an opening sometimes exists between the joint and a bursal sac under the tendon of the Infraspinatus.
  • The third is between the tubercles of the humerus, for the passage of the long tendon of the Biceps brachii.

This article was originally based on an entry from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy. As such, some of the information contained within it may be outdated.

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