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Medical Term:

trapezius (muscle)


Definition: extrinsic (thoracoappendicular) muscle of shoulder; origin, medial third of superior nuchal line, external occipital protuberance, ligamentum nuchae, spinous processes of seventh cervical and the thoracic vertebrae and corresponding supraspinous ligaments; insertion, lateral third of posterior surface of clavicle, anterior side of acromion, and upper and medial border of the spine of the scapula; action, when scapulae are fixed, portions of muscle can act independently: cervical portion elevates scapula, thoracic portion contributes to depression of scapula; upper and lowermost portions act simultaneously to rotate glenoid fossa superiorly; when the entire muscle and especially middle part contracts, the scapulae retract; draws head to one side or backward; nerve supply, motor by accessory, sensory by cervical plexus.

Synonym(s): musculus trapeziusTA, cowl muscle

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