Procedure-oriented sectional anatomy of the shoulder

J Comput Assist Tomogr. 2009 Sep-Oct;33(5):814-7. doi: 10.1097/RCT.0b013e3181b235ee.


This is the first in a series of papers on procedure-oriented joint anatomy. This paper will review anatomy of the shoulder joint and focus on non-imaging-guided procedures. Needle procedures of the shoulder include glenohumeral, subacromial, and acromioclavicular joint injections; electromyography; trigger point and other intramuscular injections; bicipital tendon sheath injection; suprascapular nerve blocks; and botulinum toxin injections. The accuracy of these non-imaging-guided procedures is reviewed. Complications of these procedures include infection, damage to tendon, and local or systemic response to medication. This paper provides anatomically accurate schematics of the shoulder anatomy relevant to needle procedures. Cross-sectional schematics of the shoulder were drawn as they appear on axial and sagittal projections. Superficial and deep landmarks are highlighted and sources of potential complications. The schematics allow for safer and more accurate non-image-guided needle procedures in the shoulder region.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / administration & dosage
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / adverse effects
  • Arthritis, Infectious / etiology
  • Arthritis, Infectious / prevention & control
  • Bacterial Infections / etiology
  • Bacterial Infections / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Injections / adverse effects
  • Injections / methods*
  • Injections, Intra-Articular / adverse effects
  • Injections, Intra-Articular / methods
  • Shoulder / anatomy & histology*
  • Shoulder Joint / anatomy & histology


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones