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The supraspinatus muscle is a rotator cuff muscle located in the shoulder, specifically in the supraspinatus fossa, a concave depression in the rear portion of the scapula, or shoulder blade. It stretches horizontally to the scapula's spine (elevated ridge), allowing it to pass under the acromial process, a bony structure at the top edge of the scapula. The muscle is attached to a flat, strong tendon that is connected to the shoulder joint capsule. Along with the deltoid and pectoralis major muscles, the supraspinatus muscle helps initiate horizontal abduction (raising the arms skyward) of the shoulder. In the case of a muscle retraction injury (when the muscle is drawn backwards, typically as the result of a muscle tear) to the supraspinatus muscle, a pull-forward surgery must be performed within three months before shortening or atrophy (muscle-wasting) occurs, rendering it irreparable.

Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
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In Depth: Supraspinatus

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