Suprascapular Nerve Compression
A “pinched nerve” is a general term that describes an injury to a nerve or group of nerves. Pinched nerves can result in pain, numbness, tingling or burning sensations.
Nerve pain can be much more severe and disabling than other types of pain. The pain from a pinched nerve can be particularly troubling; ask anyone that has had a pinched nerve in the shoulder, back, neck, or carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrist!
Just like a nerve that can be pinched in these places, the nerve to a part of your rotator cuff -the “suprascapular nerve”- can also become pinched or painful for multiple reasons, including blunt trauma (injury), rotator cuff tear, unstable shoulder, a ganglion cyst, crutch-use, repetitive injury in sports, and unusual anatomy, among others.
Although a pinched nerve in the shoulder was described nearly a century ago, the diagnosis is still often overlooked. Also -until recently- surgical treatment required an “open surgery” unfamiliar to most surgeons. A safe and minimally-invasive arthroscopic (small incision fiber-optic repair) approach to relieve pressure on this pinched shoulder nerve (Arthroscopic Decompression of the Suprascapular Nerve) has been developed here at The Shoulder Center.
A pinched nerve in the shoulder may also be partly responsible for a previously failed shoulder surgery. As in carpal tunnel syndrome, an electro-diagnostic test (EMG/NCV) can help confirm the diagnosis of a pinched nerve in the shoulder.
For more details about nerve related shoulder pain, see Suprascapular Nerve Surgery.
For a consultation with a shoulder specialist at The Shoulder Center, contact us.
N = Suprascapular Nerve
STSL = Superior Transverse Scapular Ligament
Conoid = Conoid Ligament
A = Suprascapular Artery
Arthroscopic scissors cutting
Superior Transverse Scapular Ligament
Decompressed Nerve with fat (yellow)
normally surrounding the nerve clearly visible