Suprascapular neuropathy

Background

The right brachial plexus with its short branches, viewed from anterior view. (Suprascapular labeled at upper left.)
Suprascapular and axillary nerves of right side, seen from posterior view.
  • Suprascapular nerve (C5, 6) branches from the superior trunk and innervates the supraspinatus and infraspinatus nerves
  • Compression of the nerve in the suprascapular notch (proximal, supraspinatus and infraspinatus affected) or at spinoglenoid ligament (distal, only infraspinatus affected)[1][2]
  • Most often seen in athletes due to repetitive overhead arm movements

Causes

Clinical Features

  • Shoulder pain
  • Weakness of shoulder abduction, flexion, and internal rotation
  • May see atrophy of supraspinatus and infraspinatus muscles

Differential Diagnosis

Upper extremity peripheral nerve syndromes

Median Nerve Syndromes

Ulnar Nerve Syndromes

Radial Nerve Syndromes

Proximal Neuropathies

Other

Evaluation

  • Plain films to evaluate for fracture, callus, or bone tumor
  • MRI and EMG outpatient

Management

  • Nonoperative - activity modification, avoid overhead activities, physical therapy, NSAIDs, sling
  • Operative for space occupying lesions

Disposition

  • Discharge with orthopedic follow up

See Also

External Links

References

  1. https://www.orthobullets.com/shoulder-and-elbow/3063/suprascapular-neuropathy?expandLeftMenu=true
  2. Boykin RE et al. Suprascapular Neuropathy. JBJS. 2010;92:2348-2368.