Variations in anatomy at the suprascapular notch possibly causing suprascapular nerve entrapment: an anatomical study

Bayramoglu A. , Demiryurek D., Tuccar E., Erbil M., Aldur M., Tetik O., ...More

KNEE SURGERY SPORTS TRAUMATOLOGY ARTHROSCOPY, vol.11, no.6, pp.393-398, 2003 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 11 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00167-003-0378-3
  • Page Numbers: pp.393-398


The purpose of the study was to determine anatomical variations at the suprascapular notch for better understanding of possible predisposing factors for suprascapular nerve entrapment. We dissected 32 shoulders of 16 cadavers between the ages of 39 and 74 years. We observed abnormally oriented superior fibers of the subscapularis muscle in five shoulders of the 16 cadavers, which were covering the entire anterior surface of the suprascapular notch and significantly reducing the available space for the suprascapular nerve. We also detected anterior coracoscapular ligament in six of the 32 shoulders, and calcified superior transverse scapular ligament in four of the shoulders. In this study, we classified the variations for the superior transverse scapular ligament. In conclusion, knowing the anatomical variations in detail along the course of the suprascapular nerve might be important for better understanding of location and source of the entrapment syndrome, especially for individuals who are involved in violent overhead sports activities such as volleyball and baseball. To our knowledge, close relationship of subscapularis muscle with the suprascapular nerve as a possible risk factor for suprascapular nerve entrapment has not been mentioned previously.