What is suprascapular neuropathy?
Due to its location, the suprascapular nerve is vulnerable to compression at the suprascapular notch as well as at the spinoglenoid notch. Suprascapular neuropathy (SSN) is an uncommon cause of shoulder pain and is seen in patients who participate in overhead sports such as baseball, swimming or tennis. Typically, a chronic condition, which is relatively rare, suprascapular neuropathy is often not diagnosed until other more common causes of shoulder pain have already been considered. In fact, sometimes patients have surgery for these other conditions but continue to have pain due to unrecognized suprascapular nerve irritation.
Another cause of neuropathy is a traction injury. Excessive traction, or repetitive traction, can affect the way nerves work cause shoulder weakness, shoulder pain, and occasionally numbness depending on what nerves are affected. The suprascapular nerve does not produce numbness as it is strictly a “motor” nerve innervating the muscles of the rotator cuff tendon. Other nerves, however, when subjected to traction or injury, such as the axillary nerve, may produce both weakness and numbness. Injury to the long thoracic nerve – another nerve near the shoulder – may produce winging of the scapula. Scapular winging occurs when the shoulder blade that is normally flat, sticks out or “wings” away from the body. This condition may result in difficulty raising the arm due to weakness of the muscles which control the scapula, and it may also result in shoulder pain.
Can shoulder osteoarthritis cause nerve pain?
Arthritis of the shoulder can cause bony deformations called osteophytes. Sometimes called bone spurs, the osteophytes can cause severe neural pain by trapping nerves which run alongside the shoulder joint. A special type of nerve release called Comprehensive Arthroscopic Management, or the CAM procedure, can help younger, active patients gain relief from shoulder nerve pain caused by osteoarthritis.
What is Arthroscopic Nerve Release?
An arthroscopic nerve release is a sophisticated approach used by the orthopedic specialists at The Shoulder Clinic of Idaho. Patients in Boise, Meridian, Nampa, and the surrounding communities of the Treasure Valley can be treated by shoulder experts. They can use this minimally invasive technique to relase pressure placed on nerves in the spineoglenoid notch, the suprascapular notch and they can also use arthroscopic surgey to address associated intra-articular shoulder lesions such as a SLAP tear, a labral tear, or bone spurs and arthritis causing nerve pain. The surgery is done through small incisions in the shoulder, using special instruments and a tiny camera. The glenohumeral joint and surrounding shoulder spaces are explored for defects and abnormalities, and the inflamed or tight structures are modified to leave a smooth, wide space for the nerves around the shoulder to travel. This is called nerve decompression or nerve release.
For additional resources on arthroscopic nerve release, or to learn more about shoulder nerve pain, please contact the orthopedic specialists at The Shoulder Clinic of Idaho, serving patients in Boise, Meridian, Nampa, and the surrounding communities of the Treasure Valley.