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Arthroscopic Suprascapular Nerve Decompression: Etiology, Diagnosis, and Surgical Technique

January 01, 2012

Contributors: Adam Blair Yanke, MD, PhD, FAAOS; Neil S Ghodadra, MD; Seth Sherman, MD, FAAOS; Anthony A Romeo, MD, FAAOS; Nikhil N Verma, MD; Sanjeev Bhatia, MD; Sanjeev Bhatia, MD

Peer review has expired on this program. It is the viewer’s responsibility to determine the educational value of this historical content.
Peer review has expired on this program. It is the viewer’s responsibility to determine the educational value of this historical content.

The purpose of this video is to update surgeons on the current state of diagnosis and arthroscopic treatment of suprascapular nerve (SSN) compression at the suprascapular or spinoglenoid notch. Although entrapment of the SSN is an infrequent presentation of shoulder pain, proper diagnosis and treatment are critical to maintain function, reduce or eliminate pain, and prevent chronic supraspinatus and infraspinatus atrophy. Our video discusses key history and physical examination findings, along with appropriate diagnostic testing and etiology, to help elucidate signs and symptoms of SSN compression. We also present a technique that allows SSN decompression at the spinoglenoid notch or suprascapular notch, either through the subacromial space or the glenohumeral joint. This method allows for facile decompression of the SSN after repair of concomitant shoulder pathology and direct visualization of the medial neck of the glenoid to avoid complications from iatrogenic SSN nerve injury related to aggressive medial capsule dissection. Finally, we discuss outcomes from the authors' experience, as well as others, and give pertinent pearls and tips.

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