Regarding a human costoscapular joint by Prof. Dr. H. von Luschka (1870): A translation

Jeremy S. Somerson, Beate Jung, Caroline W. Stegink-Jansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Knowledge of variant anatomy was important during the time of Dr. Hubert von Luschka (1820–1875) and continues to be of relevance in current practice to prevent medical and surgical errors and to improve patient outcomes. Dr. H. von Luschka described an anatomical variant observed in the left scapula of a 40-year-old male: a connection between the medial superior angle of the scapula, piercing through the serratus posterior muscle to connect via a synovial capsule to the articular surface of the thoracic wall. The clinical relevance of this so-called “Luschka's tubercle” of the shoulder continues to be discussed. This translation is intended to broaden access to this hallmark manuscript to a wide audience of English readers. The introduction places the manuscript in the context of historical and current discussions. Three authors, all proficient in the German and English languages and educated in the anatomy of the shoulder, conducted the translation. The skeletal process that is part of the described joint structure appears similar to what is now called Luschka's tubercle. The full structure, including its connecting parts, are not currently included in anatomical nomenclature. In conclusion, Luschka's text and named tubercle continue to contribute to the discussion of scapulothoracic joint disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)278-283
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Anatomy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • anatomical variation
  • history of medicine
  • scapula
  • shoulder anatomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology


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