The caveolin-3 protein is expressed exclusively in muscle cells. Caveolin-3 expression is sufficient to form caveolae-sarcolemmal invaginations that are 50 to 100 nm in diameter. Monomers of caveolin-3 oligomerize to form high molecular mass scaffolding on the cytoplasmic surface of the sarcolemmal membrane. A mutation in one caveolin-3 allele produces an aberrant protein product capable of sequestering the normal caveolin-3 protein in the Golgi apparatus of skeletal muscle cells. Improper caveolin-3 oligomerization and membrane localization result in skeletal muscle T-tubule system derangement, sarcolemmal membrane alterations, and large subsarcolemmal vesicle formation. To date, there have been eight autosomal dominant caveolin-3 mutations identified in the human population. Caveolin-3 mutations can result in four distinct, sometimes overlapping, muscle disease phenotypes: limb girdle muscular dystrophy, rippling muscle disease, distal myopathy, and hyperCKemia. Thus, the caveolin-3 mutant genotype-to-phenotype relation represents a clear example of how genetic background can influence phenotypic outcome. This review examines in detail the reported cases of patients with caveolin-3 mutations and their corresponding muscle disease phenotypes.