Vascularity of the shoulder

Maritsa Konstantinos Papakonstantinou, Giovanni Di Giacomo, Gregory I. Bain

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The main arteries involved in the arterial supply of the shoulder joint and the proximal humerus are the anterior and posterior circumflex humeral arteries which arise from the axillary artery. Their branches are also responsible for providing the intraosseous arterial supply to the humeral head via the arcuate artery from the anterior circumflex humeral artery and the posterolateral and posteromedial vessels from the posterior circumflex humeral artery. These vessels are implicated in the development of avascular necrosis of the humeral head following proximal humeral fractures or dislocations when they are disrupted. For this reason, a sound knowledge of the vascular anatomy of the shoulder is required to better understand the patho-anatomy of these complications and to provide suitable treatments to address these issues in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNormal and Pathological Anatomy of the Shoulder
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9783662457191
ISBN (Print)9783662457184
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Arterial supply
  • Circumflex humeral artery
  • Intraosseous
  • Rotator cuff
  • Shoulder
  • Vasculature


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