Scapulothoracic and Subscapular Bursae

  • Ronald L. DiercksEmail author


Bursae around the shoulder are small pouches with synovial lining aimed to alleviate friction between moving structures. Next to the well-known subacromial or subdeltoid bursae, other bursae known around the shoulder are as follows: the supra-acromial bursa, the subcoracoid bursa, the coracoclavicular or supracoracoidal bursa, and under the scapula the subscapularis bursa, the scapulothoracic bursa and some minor bursae.


Shoulder bursae Subscapular Subcoracoid scapulothoracic 

Supplementary material

Video 16.1

Demonstration of the endoscopic resection of the superior medial facet of the scapula for snapping scapula (Courtesy Dr Simon Bell, Orthopaedic Surgeon, Melbourne, Australia) (MPG 4872 kb)


  1. 1.
    Colas F, Nevoux J, Gagey O. The subscapular and subcoracoid bursae: descriptive and functional anatomy. J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2004;13(4):454–8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Schraner AB, Major NM. MR imaging of the subcoracoid bursa. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1999;172(6):1567–71.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Conduah AH, Baker 3rd CL, Baker Jr CL. Clinical management of scapulothoracic bursitis and the snapping scapula. Sports Health. 2010;2(2):147–55.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Williams Jr GR, et al. Anatomy of the scapulothoracic articulation. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1999;359:237–46.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bell SN, van Riet RP. Safe zone for arthroscopic resection of the superomedial scapular border in the treatment of snapping scapula syndrome. J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2008;17(4):647–9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hubbard JB, Poehling GG. Chapter 46: Scapulothoracic disorders. In: Milano G, Grasso A, editors. Shoulder arthroscopy principles and practice. London: Springer; 2014.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© ISAKOS 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departmet of Orthopedic Surgery, Sports Medicine CenterUniversity Medical Centre Groningen, University of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations