Stemcelldoc's Weblog

November 10, 2013

Suprascapular Nerve: A Key Player in Shoulder Function and Pain

At the Centeno-Schultz Clinic we understand shoulder pain.

Stem cell treatment is an alternative to traditional shoulder and rotator cuff surgery.

The suprascapular nerve is a key player in shoulder function and pain.

The suprascapular nerve is derived from upper trunk of brachial plexus typically C5 and C6.  It contains both motor and sensory components.  The sensory branches innervate the GH and AC joint whereas the motor branches innervates the supraspinatus and infraspinatus muscles

The suprascapular nerve runs lateral and beneath the trapezius and enters the supraspinous fossa through the suprascapular notch.  The suprascapular notch or referred to as the scapular notch is a notch in the superior border of the scapula through which the suprascapular nerve descends.  The supraspinous fossa is a concavity above the spine on the dorsal surface of the scapula that gives origin to the supraspinatus muscle.

supraspinus fossa

suprascapular nerve

MSK ultrasound is utilized to identify the nerve and any possible entrapment which can lead to pain and or weakness.

Suprascapular Nerve US. jpg

Sites of entrapment and clinical presentation will be discussed in future posts.

Ablation of the nerve utilizing radiofrequency has been described by Liliang as an effective treatment in the management of chronic shoulder pain.

Upshot:  the suprascapular nerve and its visualization is critical to the successful management of shoulder pain.

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