The supraspinatus (su"prah-spi'na-tus) is located in the depression above the spine of the scapula on its posterior surface. It connects the scapula to the greater tubercle of the humerus and abducts the arm (figs. 9.25 and 9.27).

The deltoid (del'toid) is a thick, triangular muscle that covers the shoulder joint. It connects the clavicle and scapula to the lateral side of the humerus and abducts the arm. The deltoid's posterior fibers can extend the humerus, and its anterior fibers can flex the humerus (fig. 9.25).


Biceps brachii




Triceps brachii

A humerus fractured at its surgical neck may damage the axillary nerve that supplies the deltoid muscle (see fig. 7.45). If this occurs, the muscle is likely to shrink and weaken. In order to test the deltoid for such weakness, a physician may ask a patient to abduct the arm against some resistance and maintain that posture for a time.

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