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Middle scalene

Other Terms: Scalenus medius, Medial scalene muscle, Middle scalene, Musculus scalenus medius, Muscle scalène moyen

Muscle parts


Latin name

Musculus scalenus medius

Latin muscle parts



Cervical wall – lateral musculature – middle layer


The English name for this muscle is the middle muscle with three unequal sides. Scalenus is Latin for “having three unequal sides,” which comes from the Greek skallein meaning “to hoe, or stir up.” The name of the scalene muscles can be traced back to the 17th century French anatomist Jean Riolan. He thought that the three scalenes were one muscle and he envisioned their combined shape as that of an irregular three-sided, or scalene, triangle. The Latin word medius means “middle.”


Anterior surface of the axis’ transverse process and the anterior surface of the posterior tubercles of the transverse processes of C3, C4, C5, C6, and C7


Superior surface of first rib between the subclavian groove and the tubercle


Laterally flexes the cervical vertebrae; elevates the first rib; active in all aspects of breathing.

Nerve supply

Branches of the cervical ventral rami (C3, C4, C5, C6, C7, and C8)

Blood supply

The ascending cervical and various muscular branches from the inferior thyroid, which is a branch of the thyrocervical trunk of the subclavian artery, supply the muscle. It also receives blood from the suprascapular artery and the superficial cervical artery.


Musculus scalenus medius


Muscle scalène moyen


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