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Subacromial Bursa
Connective Tissue

Subacromial Bursa

Bursa subacromialis

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Anatomical Relations

The subacromial bursa sits deep to the deltoid muscle within the subacromial space. It separates the supraspinatus muscle from the coracoacromial ligament and acromion (Standring, 2016).

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The subacromial bursa is a closed sac of synovial fluid that sits on the glenohumeral joint capsule. The bursa sits within the lateral one quarter of the supraspinatus fossa. It is elongated deep to the acromion and the coracoacromial ligament, where it sits deep to the supraspinatus muscle and communicates with the subdeltoid bursa. It does not communicate with the joint capsule (Moore, Dalley and Agur, 2013).


The bursa reduces friction and ensures smooth movement of the supraspinatus muscle deep to the coracoacromial arch (Paulsen and Waschke, 2013).

List of Clinical Correlates


—Septic bursitis

—Impingement syndrome


Moore, K. L., Dalley, A. F. and Agur, A. M. R. (2013) Clinically Oriented Anatomy. Clinically Oriented Anatomy 7th edn.: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Paulsen, F. and Waschke, J. (2013) Sobotta Tables of Muscles, Joints and Nerves, English: Tables to 15th ed. of the Sobotta Atlas. Elsevier Health Sciences Germany.

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Synovial Bursa

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Synovial bursae provide a gliding surface and a cushion for soft tissues as they pass over skeletal prominences and are found over bone and under muscle, tendon, ligament, fascia, or skin.

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