FXRX Dr. Sumit Dewanjee Discusses Suprascapular Neuropathy

This suprascapular nerve supplies two out of the 4 rotator cuff muscles in the shoulder. These muscles allow individuals to effectively rotate there arm outward and to lift their arm up sideways. This nerve can see an injury in athletes most commonly who participate in repetitive overhead throwing activities. For instance, a baseball pitcher may end up seeing injury to the suprascapular nerve because of the repetitive overhead throwing with extreme ranges of motion. This is called suprascapular neuropathy. The suprascapular nerve is placed in the position of most stress and compression when the arm is lifted sideways and rotated outward. The nerve may become compressed directly from a fluid cyst in the region. Or it may just be that simply the repetitive stress is putting too much traction on the nerve and irritating it. The fluid cyst is not something that develops typically all by itself, it is a side effect of a cartilage injury inside the shoulder known as a labral tear. When an athlete with a super scapular nerve injury is being seen by orthopedic surgeons Phoenix AZ, they report weakening of their shoulder and aching pain which is actually similar in nature to wonder patient has tendinitis of the rotator cuff. When the orthopedic sports medicine surgeon inspects the shoulder it will often reveal atrophy of those 2 muscles supplied by the suprascapular nerve. Those muscles are the suprascapular muscle along with the infraspinatus muscle. An MRI study within our program can show if a fluid system is compressing on the nerve and it can also show if there is a labral tear inside the shoulder most of the time. Along with the MRI, an electrodiagnostic study can confirm the diagnosis and let the physician know the severity of the injury. Suprascapular neuropathy treatment is typically conservative at the beginning. For the most part patients will improve without needing surgery. If however, the individual is having significant atrophy of the rotator cuff muscles and there is a focal compressive elements sitting on the nerve, then surgery may be a good idea to relieve the problem. A shoulder arthroscopy is the most common method of treating the injury. This allows the surgeon to fix the labral tear and let the fluid cyst resolve as a result of that. Going after the compressed nerve directly is by and large not the best idea. The risk profile of that surgery increases substantially and only if it is absolutely necessary should this be performed. FXRX Ince is the premier practice of orthopedic doctors in Phoenix AZ in the state and features Dr. Sumit Dewanjee, a Board Certified, Fellowship Trained Sports Medicine surgeon specializing in the treatment of knee, shoulder and hip problems. Call (480) 449-3979 to make your appointment Today.

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