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Humerus
Humerus - anterior view.png
Position of humerus (shown in red). Anterior view.
Illu upper extremity.jpg
Details
Latin Humerus
Identifiers
Gray's p.209
MeSH A02.835.232.087.090.400
TA A02.4.04.001
FMA FMA:13303
Anatomical terms of bone

The humerus (/ˈhjmərəs/, Plural: humeri) is a long bone in the arm or forelimb that runs from the shoulder to the elbow.

It connects the scapula and the two bones of the lower arm, which consists of the radius and ulna, and consists of three sections. The upper extremity consists of a rounded head, a narrow neck, and two short processes (tubercles, sometimes called tuberosities). Its body is cylindrical in its upper portion, and more prismatic below. The lower extremity consists of 2 epicondyles, 2 processes (trochlea & capitulum), and 3 fossae (radial fossa, coronoid fossa, and olecranon fossa). As well as its true anatomical neck, the constriction below the greater and lesser tubercles of the humerus is referred to as its surgical neck due to its tendency to commonly get fractured, thus often becoming the focus of surgeons.

Structure[edit]

Articulations[edit]

At the shoulder, the head of the humerus articulates with the glenoid fossa of the scapula. More distally, at the elbow, the capitulum of the humerus articulates with the head of the radius, and the trochlea of the humerus articulates with the trochlear notch of the ulna.

Diagram of the human shoulder joint 
The left shoulder and acromioclavicular joints, and the proper ligaments of the scapula. 
Head of humerus 
The supinator

Nerves[edit]

The axillary nerve is located at the proximal end, against the shoulder girdle. Dislocation of the humerus's glenohumeral joint, has the potential to injure the axillary nerve or the axillary artery. Signs and symptoms of this dislocation include a loss of the normal shoulder contour and a palpable depression under the acromion.

The radial nerve follows the humerus closely. At the midshaft of the humerus, the radial nerve travels from the posterior to the anterior aspect of the bone in the spiral groove. A fracture of the humerus in this region can result in radial nerve injury.

The ulnar nerve at the distal end of the humerus near the elbow is sometimes referred to in popular culture as 'the funny bone'. Striking this nerve can cause a tingling sensation ("funny" feeling), and sometimes a significant amount of pain. It lies posterior to the medial epicondyle, and is easily damaged in elbow injuries.[1]

Horizontal section at the middle of upper arm
Horizontal section of upper arm. 
Humerus 

Function[edit]

Muscular attachment[edit]

The deltoid originates on the lateral third of the clavicle, acromion and the crest of the spine of the scapula. It is inserted on the deltoid tuberosity of the humerus and has several actions including abduction, extension, and circumduction of the shoulder. The supraspinatus also originates on the spine of the scapula. It inserts on the greater tubercle of the humerus, and assists in abduction of the shoulder.

The pectoralis major, teres major, and latissimus dorsi insert at the intertubercular groove of the humerus. They work to adduct and medially, or internally, rotate the humerus.

The infraspinatus and teres minor insert on the greater tubercle, and work to laterally, or externally, rotate the humerus. In contrast, the subscapularis muscle inserts onto the lesser tubercle and works to medially, or internally, rotate the humerus.

The biceps brachii, brachialis, and brachioradialis (which attaches distally) act to flex the elbow. (The biceps do not attach to the humerus.) The triceps brachii and anconeus extend the elbow, and attach to the posterior side of the humerus.

The four muscles of supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis form a musculo-ligamentous girdle called the rotator cuff. This cuff stabilizes the very mobile but inherently unstable glenohumeral joint. The other muscles are used as counterbalances for the actions of lifting/pulling and pressing/pushing.

Left humerus. Anterior view.
Humerus ant (mirroed).png Left humerus - anterior view.png Left humerus - close-up - animation - stop at anterior view.gif HumerusFront.png Gray207.png Human left humerus - anterior view - muscles.svg A. Supraspinatus muscle
B. Latissimus dorsi muscle
C. Pectoralis major muscle
D. Deltoid muscle
E. Brachioradialis
F. Extensor carpi radialis longus muscle
G. Common extensor tendon
H. Subscapularis muscle
I. Teres major muscle
J. Coracobrachialis muscle
K. Brachialis muscle
L. Pronator teres muscle
M. Common flexor tendon


Left humerus. Posterior view.
Humerus post (mirroed).png Left humerus - posterior view.png Left humerus - close-up - animation - stop at posterior view.gif HumerusBack.png Gray208.png


Clinical significance[edit]

Fracture[edit]

Main article: Humerus fracture

Other animals[edit]

Primitive fossil amphibians had little, if any, shaft connecting the upper and lower extremities, making their limbs very short. In most living tetrapods, however, the humerus has a similar form to that of humans. In many reptiles and some primitive mammals, the lower extremity includes a large foramen, or opening, into which nerves and blood vessels pass.[2]

History[edit]

The word "humerus" is derived from Latin: humerus, umerus meaning upper arm, shoulder, and is linguistically related to Gothic ams shoulder and Greek ōmos.[3]

Additional images[edit]

References[edit]

This article incorporates text from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy.

  1. ^ "The Humerus". TeachMeAnatomy.net. 
  2. ^ Romer, Alfred Sherwood; Parsons, Thomas S. (1977). The Vertebrate Body. Philadelphia, PA: Holt-Saunders International. pp. 198–199. ISBN 0-03-910284-X. 
  3. ^ Harper, Douglas. "Humerus". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humerus — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
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6693 news items

 
7thSpace Interactive (press release)
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 00:26:15 -0800

"Chevron"-Olecranon osteotomies are commonly used for the approach to intraarticular distal humerus fractures but are often associated with procedure related complications. We studied the triceps reflecting approach (TRA) with preservation of the ...

The Press

The Press
Thu, 18 Dec 2014 19:00:00 -0800

She suffered a broken and dislocated ankle, compound fractured tibia and fibula, broken pelvis, dislocated hip, broken humerus, broken cheek bone and injured knee. Necrotic tissue damage on the back of her heel is the last visible injury to heal in ...

The Eagle (blog)

The Eagle (blog)
Thu, 18 Dec 2014 06:29:20 -0800

The armbones include a single, sturdy upper arm bone (humerus) and two long slender bones in the forearm, the radius and the ulna. The radius is the bone nearest the thumb, while the ulna is on the outer side. The bony bumps at the elbow joint are ...

Culture24

Culture24
Tue, 16 Dec 2014 04:18:39 -0800

But what we have found of particular interest is that he had sustained two injuries to his humerus, the upper arm bone. One of them was up near the shoulder; the other, more distinctive one is low on the humerus, pointed to by an arrow in the case. It ...

The Epoch Times

The Epoch Times
Fri, 19 Dec 2014 03:03:45 -0800

Left: An illustration of a giant. (Shutterstock*) Right: A humanoid humerus bone much larger than a normal humerus bone, discovered in France by Georges Vacher de Lapouge. (Wikimedia Commons) ...
 
Nature.com
Wed, 17 Dec 2014 07:40:47 -0800

Editor's comment: QCT analysis of the humerus in active and retired baseball players shows a time-dependent loss of bone mass gained during the years of intense biomechanical stimulation, but not a complete loss of the gain in estimated strength.
 
San Jose Mercury News
Wed, 17 Dec 2014 10:45:00 -0800

A carotid restraint is applied to a suspect's neck by firmly pressing on both sides of the neck with the forearm and humerus, simultaneously. This will enable the bend in the area of the elbow to be placed at the windpipe, thus allowing the suspect to ...

Good4Utah

Good4Utah
Tue, 16 Dec 2014 18:34:26 -0800

A rotator cuff is made up of muscles and tendons that form a covering around the humerus (upper arm bone) and attach it to the shoulder blade. Between the rotator cuff and the acromion (bone on top of shoulder) sits a lubricating sac called a bursa ...
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