Greater tubercle

The greater tubercle of the humerus is situated lateral to the head of the humerus and posterolateral to the lesser tubercle.

Greater tubercle
Left humerus. Anterior view. (Greater tubercle visible at right.)
Latintuberculum majus humeri
Anatomical terms of bone

Its upper surface is rounded and marked by three flat impressions.

  • the highest of these gives ("superior facet") insertion to the supraspinatus
  • the middle ("middle facet") to the infraspinatus.
  • the lowest one ("inferior facet"), and the body of the bone for about 2.5 cm; below it, to the teres minor.
Attachments of Greater Tubercle

The lateral surface of the greater tubercle is convex, rough, and continuous with the lateral surface of the body.

Between the greater tubercle and the lesser tubercle is the bicipital groove (intertubercular sulcus).

Greater Tubercle of Right Humerus

All three of the muscles that attach to the greater tubercle are part of the rotator cuff, a muscle group that stabilizes the shoulder joint. The fourth muscle of the rotator cuff (the subscapularis) does not attach to the greater tubercle, but instead attaches to the lesser tubercle.

Additional images


This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 209 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

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