Deltoid tuberosity

In human anatomy, the deltoid tuberosity is a rough, triangular[1] area on the anterolateral (front-side) surface of the middle of the humerus to which the deltoid muscle attaches.[2]

Deltoid Tuberosity
Deltoid tuberosity
Left humerus. Anterior view. (Deltoideus labeled at center right.)
Latintuberositas deltoidea humeri
Anatomical terms of bone


It has been reported as very prominent in less than 10% of cases. [3]


The deltoid tuberosity develops through endochondral ossification in a two-phase process. The initiating signal is tendon-dependent, whilst the growth phase is muscle-dependent. [4]

Other animals

In mammals, the humerus displays a wide morphological variation. The size and orientation of its functionally important features, including the deltoid tubercle, greater tubercle, and medial epicondyle, are pivotal to an animal's style of locomotion and habitat. In cursorial (running) animals such as the pronghorn, the deltoid tubercle is located about a quarter of the way down the shaft, which allows for rapid but relatively weak limb flexion and extension. In natatorial (swimming) animals such as the North American river otter, the tubercle is located nearly halfway down the shaft, which allows for powerful limb flexion and extension. The tuberosity can be very pronounced in fossorial (digging) animals, such as the mountain beaver. [5]


  1. Gray, Henry (1918). Gray's Anatomy. ISBN 1-85958-018-1.
  2. Feneis, Heinz (2000). Pocket Atlas of Human Anatomy (4th ed.). Thieme. p. 36. ISBN 3-13-511204-7.
  3. Fink-Bennett D, Vicuna-Rios J. (1980). "The deltoid tuberosity--a potential pitfall (the "delta sign") in bone-scan interpretation: concise communication". The Journal of Nuclear Medicine. 21 (3): 211–212. seven out of 100 scans reviewed.
  4. Blitz E; et al. (December 2009). "Bone ridge patterning during musculoskeletal assembly is mediated through SCX regulation of Bmp4 at the tendon-skeleton junction". Dev Cell. 17 (6): 861–73. doi:10.1016/j.devcel.2009.10.010. PMC 3164485. PMID 20059955.
  5. Hall, Brian Keith (2007). Fins into limbs: evolution, development, and transformation. University of Chicago Press. p. 251. ISBN 0-226-31337-9. (Including an illustration of variation in mammalian humeri.)
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