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Rhomboid minor muscle

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rhomboid minor
Muscles connecting the upper extremity to the vertebral column. (Rhomboid minor in red)
OriginNuchal ligaments and spinous processes of C7-T1
InsertionMedial border of scapula, superior to the insertion of rhomboid major muscle
ArteryDeep branch of transverse cervical artery
NerveDorsal scapular nerve (C45)
ActionsRetracts and rotates scapula, fixes scapula to thoracic wall
AntagonistSerratus anterior
Latinmusculus rhomboideus minor
Anatomical terms of muscle

In human anatomy, the rhomboid minor is a small skeletal muscle of the back that connects the scapula to the vertebrae of the spinal column.[citation needed] It arises from the nuchal ligament, and the 7th cervical and 1st thoracic vertebrae and intervening supraspinous ligaments; it inserts onto the medial border of the scapula. It is innervated by the dorsal scapular nerve.

It acts together with the rhomboid major to keep the scapula pressed against the thoracic wall.[1]



The rhomboid minor arises from the inferior border of the nuchal ligament, from the spinous processes of the vertebrae C7–T1, and from the intervening supraspinous ligaments.[2]


It inserts onto a small area of the medial border of the scapula at the level of the scapular spine.[3]


It is innervated by the dorsal scapular nerve (a branch of the brachial plexus), with most of its fibers derived from the C5 nerve root and only minor contribution from C4 or C6.[4]

Blood supply[edit]

The rhomboid minor receives arterial blood supply from the dorsal scapular artery.[citation needed]


It is located inferior to levator scapulae, and superior to rhomboid major.[citation needed]

It lies deep to trapezius, and superficial to the long spinal muscles.[2]


It is usually separated from the rhomboid major by a slight interval, but the adjacent margins of the two muscles are occasionally united.[5]


Together with the rhomboid major, the rhomboid minor retracts the scapula when trapezius is contracted. Acting as a synergist to the trapezius, the rhomboid major and minor elevate the medial border of the scapula medially and upward, working in tandem with the levator scapulae muscle to rotate the scapulae downward. While other shoulder muscles are active, the rhomboid major and minor stabilize the scapula.[6]

Additional images[edit]


Public domain This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 434 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

  1. ^ Platzer, W (2004). Color Atlas of Human Anatomy, Vol. 1: Locomotor System (5th ed.). Thieme. p. 144. ISBN 1-58890-159-9.
  2. ^ a b "rhomboid minor (anatomy)". GPnotebook.
  3. ^ Origin, insertion and nerve supply of the muscle at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine
  4. ^ Martin, R. M.; Fish, D. E. (2007). "Scapular winging: anatomical review, diagnosis, and treatments". Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine. 1 (1): 1–11. doi:10.1007/s12178-007-9000-5. PMC 2684151. PMID 19468892., p. 4
  5. ^ Gray's Anatomy (1918), see infobox
  6. ^ "Function (of rhomboid muscles)". GP Notebook. Retrieved January 28, 2011.

External links[edit]