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Teres major muscle
Arm muscles back numbers.png
Muscles on the dorsum of the scapula, and the Triceps brachii muscle:
#3 latissimus dorsi muscle
#5 teres major muscle
#6 teres minor muscle
#7 supraspinatus muscle
#8 infraspinatus muscle
#13 long head of triceps brachii muscle
Surface anatomy of the back. (Label for Teres major at upper right.)
Latin musculus teres major
Gray's subject #123 442
Origin posterior aspect of the inferior angle of the scapula
Insertion    medial lip of the intertubercular sulcus of the humerus
Artery Subscapular and circumflex scapular arteries
Nerve Lower subscapular nerve (segmental levels C5 and C6)
Actions Internal rotation (medial rotation) of the humerus

Teres major is a muscle of the upper limb and one of six scapulohumeral muscles. It is a thick but somewhat flattened muscle, innervated by the lower subscapular nerve (c5,c6).


Origin and insertion

It arises from the oval area on the dorsal surface of the inferior angle of the scapula, and from the fibrous septa interposed between the muscle and the teres minor and infraspinatus.

The fibers of teres major insert into the medial lip of the bicipital groove of the humerus.


Posterior view showing the relations between teres major muscle (in red) and the other muscles connecting the upper extremity to the vertebral column.

The tendon, at its insertion, lies behind that of the latissimus dorsi, from which it is separated by a bursa, the two tendons being, however, united along their lower borders for a short distance.

Together with teres minor muscle, teres major muscle forms the axillary space, through which several important arteries and veins pass. Teres major is not part of the rotator cuff of the shoulder.

The teres major muscle is innervated by the lower subscapular nerve of the brachial plexus.


The teres major is a medial rotator and adductor of the humerus and assists the latissimus dorsi in drawing the previously raised humerus downward and backward. It also helps stabilize the humeral head in the glenoid cavity.

Additional images

External links

See also

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 As such, some of the information contained within it may be outdated.



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