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Teres Minor Muscle
Muscular System

Teres Minor Muscle

Musculus teres minor

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Quick Facts

Origin: Posterior aspect of superior half of lateral border of scapula.

Insertion: Greater tubercle of humerus.

Action: Laterally rotates, transversely abducts and stabilizes arm at glenohumeral (shoulder) joint.

Innervation: Axillary nerve (C5-C6).

Arterial Supply: Circumflex scapular and posterior circumflex humeral arteries.

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Origin

The teres minor muscle originates from the posterior aspect of superior half of the lateral border of the scapula and its adjacent area.

Insertion

The fibers of the teres minor muscle travel superolaterally and insert, via a short tendon, onto the inferior facet of the greater tubercle of the humerus. Part of this tendon also merges with the capsule of the glenohumeral (shoulder) joint.

Key Features & Anatomical Relations

The teres minor muscle is one of the rotator cuff muscles. It is a thin, fusiform type of skeletal muscle. It is located:

- anterior (deep) to the clavicular part of deltoid muscle;

- posterior (superficial) to the scapula, and the long head of triceps brachii muscle;

- superior to the teres major muscle;

- inferior to the infraspinatus muscle.

Actions

The teres minor muscle is involved in multiple actions:

- laterally rotates the arm at the glenohumeral (shoulder) joint;

- transversely abducts the arm at the glenohumeral joint (i.e., it abducts the flexed arm along the transverse plane);

- assists in adduction of the arm at the glenohumeral joint.

It is one of the four rotator cuff (SITS) muscles, the other three being the supraspinatus, infraspinatus and subscapularis muscles. These muscles work together to stabilize the glenohumeral joint, by holding the head of the humerus in the glenoid fossa of the scapula, during its movements (Standring, 2016).

List of Clinical Correlates

- Injury or rupture of rotator cuff

References

Standring, S. (2016) Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. Gray's Anatomy Series 41st edn.: Elsevier Limited.

Actions

The teres minor muscle is involved in multiple actions:

- laterally rotates the arm at the glenohumeral (shoulder) joint;

- transversely abducts the arm at the glenohumeral joint (i.e., it abducts the flexed arm along the transverse plane);

- assists in adduction of the arm at the glenohumeral joint.

It is one of the four rotator cuff (SITS) muscles, the other three being the supraspinatus, infraspinatus and subscapularis muscles. These muscles work together to stabilize the glenohumeral joint, by holding the head of the humerus in the glenoid fossa of the scapula, during its movements (Standring, 2016).

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Teres Minor Muscle

ScienceDirect image

The deltoid and teres minor muscles work as a force couple to produce depression and stabilization of the humeral head.

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