Supraspinatus Muscle Anatomy

Overview
Origin Supraspinous fossa of scapula
Insertion Greater tubercle of the humerus (superior aspect)
Action Abduction of arm
Stabilisation of the humerus in the glenohumeral joint
Nerve Suprascapular nerve (C5, C6)
Artery Suprascapular artery

Location

The supraspinatus is a relatively small muscle which is located in the upper back and shoulder. The supraspinatus travels under the acromion which can make it vulnerable to impingement. The space in this gap of the acromion is called the ‘subacromial space’ [1]Maruvada S, Madrazo-Ibarra A, Varacallo M. Anatomy, Rotator Cuff. [Updated 2021 May 8]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: … Continue reading [2]Creech JA, Silver S. Shoulder Impingement Syndrome. [Updated 2021 Jul 26]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: … Continue reading [3]Moore KL, Agur AMR, Dalley AF. Clinically Oriented Anatomy. 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincot Williams & Wilkins; 2017..

The supraspinatus is one of the four muscles which form the rotator cuff of the shoulder. The remaining three rotator cuff muscles are: the subscapularis, teres minor and infraspinatus. A useful acronym to remember these muscles is “SITS”. The spine of the scapula separates the infraspinatus muscle from the supraspinatus muscle [4]Maruvada S, Madrazo-Ibarra A, Varacallo M. Anatomy, Rotator Cuff. [Updated 2021 May 8]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: … Continue reading.

Origin & Insertion

The supraspinatus originates at the supraspinous fossa of scapula (a shallow depression in the body of the scapula above the scapula’s spine). The supraspinatus’ tendon then passes under the acromion and inserts at the superior facet of the greater tubercle of  the humerus [5]Wu JG, Bordoni B. Anatomy, Shoulder and Upper Limb, Scapulohumeral Muscle. [Updated 2021 Sep 24]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: … Continue reading [6]Moore KL, Agur AMR, Dalley AF. Clinically Oriented Anatomy. 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincot Williams & Wilkins; 2017. [7]Jeno SH, Munjal A, Schindler GS. Anatomy, Shoulder and Upper Limb, Arm Supraspinatus Muscle. 2021 Aug 7. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan–. PMID: … Continue reading.

Actions

The primary action of the supraspinatus is abduction of arm and stabilisation of the humerus within the glenohumeral joint [8]Maruvada S, Madrazo-Ibarra A, Varacallo M. Anatomy, Rotator Cuff. [Updated 2021 May 8]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: … Continue reading [9]Moore KL, Agur AMR, Dalley AF. Clinically Oriented Anatomy. 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincot Williams & Wilkins; 2017..

Innervation

The suprascapular nerve (C5, C6) innervates the supraspinatus. This nerve also innervates the infraspinatus muscle (one of the other rotator cuff muscles) [10]Maruvada S, Madrazo-Ibarra A, Varacallo M. Anatomy, Rotator Cuff. [Updated 2021 May 8]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: … Continue reading.

Blood Supply

Blood is supplied from the suprascapular artery. The suprascapular artery is a branch of the thyrocervical trunk. The thyrocervical trunk is a major branch of the subclavian artery. This artery originates at the base of the neck [11]Maruvada S, Madrazo-Ibarra A, Varacallo M. Anatomy, Rotator Cuff. [Updated 2021 May 8]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: … Continue reading.

Images

supraspinatus muscle

Here we can see the supraspinatus muscle in isolation from a posterior view.

supraspinatus origin and insertion

The supraspinatus originates at the supraspinous fossa of scapula (marked in red) and inserts at the superior facet of the greater tubercle of  the humerus (marked in blue).

three posterior rotator cuff muscles (supraspinatus, infraspinatus and teres minor) from a posterior view

Supraspinatus is one of the four rotator cuff muscles. Pictured here are the three posterior rotator cuff muscles (supraspinatus, infraspinatus and teres minor). Subscapularis is visible from an anterior view.

Subscapularis anterior view

Subscapularis is the final rotator cuff muscle, visible from an anterior view.

Want some flashcards to help you remember this information? Then click the link below:
Supraspinatus Flashcards

References

References
1, 4, 8, 10, 11 Maruvada S, Madrazo-Ibarra A, Varacallo M. Anatomy, Rotator Cuff. [Updated 2021 May 8]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441844/
2 Creech JA, Silver S. Shoulder Impingement Syndrome. [Updated 2021 Jul 26]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK554518/
3, 6, 9 Moore KL, Agur AMR, Dalley AF. Clinically Oriented Anatomy. 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincot Williams & Wilkins; 2017.
5 Wu JG, Bordoni B. Anatomy, Shoulder and Upper Limb, Scapulohumeral Muscle. [Updated 2021 Sep 24]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK546633/
7 Jeno SH, Munjal A, Schindler GS. Anatomy, Shoulder and Upper Limb, Arm Supraspinatus Muscle. 2021 Aug 7. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan–. PMID: 30725887.