March 9, 2008

Shoulder Girdle

Filed under: — Peter Laws @ 4:08 am

Pectoral GirdleThe Shoulder Girdle, also called the Pectoral Girdle, is composed of four bones: two clavicles and two scapulae .

  • The clavicle, commonly called the collarbone, is a slender S-shaped bone that connects the upper arm to the trunk of the body and holds the shoulder joint away from the body to allow for greater freedom of movement. One end of the clavicle is connected to the sternum and one end is connected to the scapula.
  • The scapula is a large, triangular, flat bone on the back side of the rib cage commonly called the shoulder blade. It overlays the second through seventh rib and serves as an attachment for several muscles. It has a shallow depression called the glenoid cavity that the head of the humerus (upper arm bone) fits into.

Usually, a “girdle” refers to something that encircles or is a complete ring. However, the shoulder girdle is an incomplete ring. In the front, the clavicles are separated by the sternum. In the back, there is a gap between the two scapulae.

The primary function of the pectoral girdle is to provide an attachment point for the numerous muscles that allow the shoulder and elbow joints to move. It also provides the connection between the upper extremities (the arms) and the axial skeleton.

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