Anatomical hierarchy

General Anatomy > Parts of human body > Upper limb > Pectoral girdle; Shoulder girdle



The pectoral girdle or shoulder girdle is the set of bones which connects the upper limb to the axial skeleton on each side. It consists of the clavicle and scapula in humans and the coracoid.

The only true anatomical joints between the shoulder girdle and axial skeleton are the sternoclavicular joints on each side. No anatomical joint exists between each scapula and the rib cage; instead the muscular connection or physiological joint between the two permits great mobility of the shoulder girdle compared to the compact pelvic girdle — i.e. because the upper limb is not usually involved in weight bearing, its stability has been sacrificed in exchange for greater mobility.


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