Table of Contents
Anatomy Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 635628, 9 pages
Review Article

Scapulothoracic Anatomy and Snapping Scapula Syndrome

Section of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL 60612, USA

Received 31 July 2013; Accepted 8 October 2013

Academic Editor: Ruijin Huang

Copyright © 2013 Rachel M. Frank et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The scapulothoracic articulation is a sliding junction between the deep aspect of the scapula and thoracic rib cage at the levels of ribs 2 through 7. Motion at this articulation is dynamically stabilized by a variety of muscular attachments, allowing for controlled positioning of the glenoid to assist in glenohumeral joint function. A thorough understanding of the complex anatomic relationships, including the various muscles, and bursa, is critical to the evaluation of patients presenting with scapulothoracic disorders. The snapping scapula syndrome is caused by either osseous lesions or scapulothoracic bursitis and can be difficult to recognize and treat. The purpose of this review is to discuss the anatomy of the scapulothoracic articulation with an emphasis on the pathology associated with snapping scapula syndrome.