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The two main bones of the shoulder joint are the scapula (shoulder blade) and the humerus. The acromion, part of the scapula, extends over the shoulder joint and is an attachment point for many ligaments and muscles.

The muscles that play a role in stabilizing and moving this joint include the rotator cuff muscles and the biceps muscle. Together, they allow you to throw, flex, extend, elevate, rotate, and lift.
As one of the most moveable joints in the body, the shoulder is subject to many injuries, including dislocation, tendinitis, and fracture.

Shoulder anatomy is rather complex. There are many muscles that are involved in the movement of the joint. Muscles that attach to the shoulder joint include the biceps, brachialis, brachioradialis, coracobrachialis, deltoid, latissimus dorsi, subclavius, subscapularis, supraspinatus, teres major and minor, and triceps. There are also several nerves that pass through the joint, including the axillary nerve, brachial plexus, median nerve, thoracodorsal nerve, and ulnar nerve. Arteries in the area include the axillary, brachial, and superior ulnar collateral arteries.

Identifying the anatomical structures of the shoulder is paramount in arthroscopic surgery. The arthroscopic specialist must recognize these vital structures in the small viewing area that the optic scopes provide.

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