The glenoid cavity (or glenoid fossa of scapula from Greek: gléne, "socket") is a part of the shoulder. It is a shallow pyriform, articular surface, which is located on the lateral angle of the scapula. It is directed laterally and forward and articulates with the head of the humerus; it is broader below than above and its vertical diameter is the longest.
This cavity forms the glenohumeral joint along with the humerus. This type of joint is classified as a synovial, ball and socket joint. The humerus is held in place with in the glenoid cavity by means of the long head of the bicep tendon. This tendon originates on the superior margin of the glenoid cavity and loops over the shoulder bracing humerus against the cavity. The rotator cuff also reinforces this joint more specifically with the supraspinatus tendon to hold the head of the humerus in the glenoid cavity.
The cavity surface is covered with cartilage in the fresh state; and its margins, slightly raised, give attachment to a fibrocartilaginous structure, the glenoid labrum, which deepens the cavity. This cartilage is very susceptible to tearing. When torn, it is most commonly known as a SLAP lesion which is genreally caused by repetitive shoulder movements.
Compared to the acetabulum (hip-joint) the glenoid cavity is relatively shallow. This makes the shoulder joint prone to luxation. Strong ligaments and muscles prevents luxation in most cases.
By being so shallow the glenoid cavity allows the glenohumeral joint to have the greatest mobility of all joints in the body, allowing 120 degrees of unassisted flexion. This is also accomplished by the great mobility of the scapula (shoulder blade).
The Glenoid Cavity is also the point of origin for the muscle: Triceps Brachii.
Other articles related to "glenoid cavity":
... Anterior view of left Scapula showing Glenoid cavity "2" Glenoid cavity of glenohumeral joiny ...
... and ascending parts act together to rotate glenoid cavity superiorly Serratus anterior muscle latissimus dorsi spinous processes of thoracic T6-T12, thoracolumbar fascia ... Retracts the scapula and rotates it to depress the glenoid cavity ... dorsal scapular nerve (C4 and C5) Retracts the scapula and rotates it to depress the glenoid cavity ...
... head of the humerus One on the medial side of the joint passes from the medial edge of the glenoid cavity to the lower part of the lesser tubercle of the humerus ... A second at the lower part of the joint extends from the under edge of the glenoid cavity to the under part of the anatomical neck of the humerus ... at the upper part of the joint is fixed above to the apex of the glenoid cavity close to the root of the coracoid process, and passing downward along the medial edge of the ...