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Subscapularis - without ribs - anterior
Subscapularis - with ribs - anterior

General information

  • This section is strictly limited to anatomy, you might be looking for clinical relevant information which is found under the clinical chapters -- muscles section, click here to go to that page


  • Deep


  • Fossa subscapularis scapulae


  • Tuberculum minor humerus

Main function

  • Shoulder
    • Medial rotation

Nerve innervation

  • Segmental
    • C5-C6
  • Peripheral
    • Upper and lower subscapular nerves

Arterial supply

  • Circumflex scapular artery
  • Dorsal scapular artery
  • Suprascapular artery
  • Lateral thorocal artery


  • Patient position
    • Supine
  • Place the patient's hand of the side which is to be tested on the opposite shoulder, while the elbow of the same arm is resting on their stomach
  • Have the patient place the opposite hand on the elbow which is resting on the stomach
  • In this position, grab the posterior and medial aspect of the shoulder blade on the side to be palpated and pull it laterally so that the scapula is protracted
  • Use your other hand to palpate between the scapula and the patient's ribs and press towards the anterior surface of the scapula while you feel for subscapularis
  • To further distinguish the subscapularis
    • Ask the patient to press the hand down towards the shoulder, so that they are performing a medial rotation
      • Feel for the contraction in the muscle