Am Acad Orthop Surg 1999 Nov-Dec;7(6):358-67
Romeo AA, Rotenberg DD, Bach BR Jr.
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Rush Medical College and Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center, Chicago 60612, USA.
Suprascapular neuropathy is an uncommon cause of shoulder pain and weakness and therefore may be overlooked as an etiologic factor. The suprascapular nerve is vulnerable to compression at the suprascapular notch as well as at the spinoglenoid notch. Other causes of suprascapular neuropathy include traction injury at the level of the transverse scapular ligament or the spinoglenoid ligament and direct trauma to the nerve. Sports involving overhead motion, such as tennis, swimming, and weight lifting, may result in traction injury to the suprascapular nerve, leading to dysfunction. The diagnosis of suprascapular neuropathy is based on clinical findings and abnormal electrodiagnostic test results, after the exclusion of other causes of shoulder pain and weakness. Magnetic resonance imaging may provide an anatomic demonstration of nerve entrapment and muscle atrophy. With this modality, ganglion cysts are recognized with increasing frequency as a source of external compression of the suprascapular nerve. Without evidence of a discrete lesion compressing the nerve, nonoperative treatment should include physical therapy and avoidance of precipitating activities. When nonoperative treatment fails to alleviate symptoms or when a discrete lesion such as a ganglion cyst is present, surgical decompression is warranted. Decompression gives reliable pain relief, but recovery of shoulder function and restoration of atrophied muscle tissue may be incomplete.
PMID: 11497489 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]