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Serratus anterior

Other Terms: Boxer's muscle, Serratus anterior muscle, Musculus serratus anterior, Muscle dentelé antérieur

Muscle parts

None

Latin name

Musculus serratus anterior

Latin muscle parts

None

Group

Pectoral girdle muscle or Thoracic wall – lateral musculature – supracostal or outermost layer

Etymology

In English, this muscle's name is the front saw-like muscle. The term serratus comes from the Latin term serra meaning “saw.” This reference to a saw arises from the jagged anterior border of the muscle, which looks like the cutting-teeth of a saw. The term anterior is from the Latin term ante meaning “before.” It is used to designate something that is foremost or towards the front of the body.

Origin

Anterolateral surface of first 8 or 9 ribs just anterior to the mid-axillary line.

Insertion

Anterior surface of the medial margin of the scapula from the superior angle to the inferior angle.

Action

Abduction (protraction) of the scapula – the more horizontally oriented upper and middle fibers are most prominently active during abduction of the scapula. Upward rotation of the glenoid cavity – the obliquely descending inferior fibers pull the inferior angle of the scapula forward to rotate the glenoid cavity upward (cranially). This motion is essential in order to completely raise the arm in the vertical above the head. Working with the other scapular muscles, the serratus anterior helps to stabilize the scapula and its associated glenoid cavity to improve the functional efficiency of the muscles working at the shoulder joint.

Nerve supply

Long thoracic nerve (C5, C6, and C7)

Blood supply

Superior thoracic artery; lateral thoracic artery; and thoracodorsal artery.

Latin

Musculus serratus anterior

French

Muscle dentelé antérieur

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