Suprascapular nerve is a mixed (sensory and motor) nerve that arises from the upper trunk of the brachial plexus. The nerve travels through the suprascapular notch beneath the superior transverse scapular ligament (STSL) of the shoulder and supplies the supraspinatus and infraspinatus muscles. The primary function of these muscles is to help arm movements at the shoulder joint.
Any injury or compression of the suprascapular nerve results in suprascapular neuropathy.
Suprascapular Neuropathy is a condition of shoulder pain associated with weakness. It is a common problem in overhead athletes who perform repetitive overhead motions or throwing such as swimming, volley ball, tennis, and weightlifting.
Arthroscopic Suprascapular Nerve Decompression is a minimally invasive surgical technique performed to release the compressed suprascapular nerve.
The purpose of the surgery is to relieve shoulder pain by nerve decompression.
Suprascapular Nerve Decompression can be performed surgically with an arthroscopic technique under general anesthesia.
Arthroscope is a small fiber-optic viewing instrument made up of a tiny lens, light source and a video camera. The camera attached to the arthroscope displays the image of the joint on a monitor, allowing the surgeon to view the nerve and ligament.
The approach for surgery is from the front (anterior) aspect of the shoulder. The surgeon makes small incisions on the top of the shoulder. In one incision, the arthroscope is introduced to view the suprascapular nerve, artery and STSL. Other portal is used for the insertion of surgical instruments. The surgeon dissects the nerve and artery from the STSL. The ligament is sectioned and the nerve is decompressed.
The benefits of arthroscopy are smaller incisions, faster healing, a more rapid recovery, shorter rehabilitation period, and less scarring. It is often performed on an outpatient basis and the patient is able to return home on the same day.
It is much less traumatic to the muscles, ligaments and tissues than the traditional method of surgically opening the shoulder with long incisions (open techniques).
Following the surgery, your surgeon may recommend you follow certain measures for a successful outcome:
Complications include infection, bleeding, damage to nerve or blood vessel or delayed healing after the surgery.