Endoscopically assisted decompression of the suprascapular nerve in the supraspinous fossa: A cadaveric feasibility study. Laboratory investigation

R. Shane Tubbs, Marios Loukas, Mohammadali Mohajel Shoja, Robert J. Spinner, Erik H. Middlebrooks, William R. Stetler, Leslie Acakpo-Satchivi, John C. Wellons, Jeffrey P. Blount, W. Jerry Oakes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Object. The suprascapular nerve may become entrapped as it travels deep to the suprascapular ligament, necessitating decompression. The present study was performed to verify the feasibility of a minimally invasive, endoscopically assisted technique for decompressing the suprascapular nerve in the supraspinous fossa. Methods. The authors performed dissection and decompression of the suprascapular ligament using an endoscopically assisted technique via a 3-cm skin incision in 10 adult cadavers (20 sides). Measurements were also made of the depth from the skin to the suprascapular ligament. Results. A mean depth of 4 cm was necessary to reach the suprascapular ligament from the skin surface. With the authors' approach, no obvious injury occurred to the suprascapular or other vicinal neurovascular structures (such as the spinal accessory nerve and suprascapular vessels). Conclusions. The results of this cadaveric study demonstrate that access to the suprascapular nerve can be obtained endoscopically via a small suprascapular incision. This approach obviates a large incision, entry into the glenohumeral joint, and reduces the risk of spinal accessory nerve injury in the posterior cervical triangle, or atrophy of the trapezius or supraspinatus muscles from a standard larger dissection. To the authors' knowledge an endoscopically assisted approach to decompressing the suprascapular nerve as it courses deep to the suprascapular ligament has not been reported previously.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1164-1167
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery
Volume107
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Anatomical study
  • Brachial plexus
  • Cadaver
  • Shoulder
  • Surgery
  • Upper extremity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Medicine(all)
  • Clinical Neurology

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    Tubbs, R. S., Loukas, M., Mohajel Shoja, M., Spinner, R. J., Middlebrooks, E. H., Stetler, W. R., Acakpo-Satchivi, L., Wellons, J. C., Blount, J. P., & Oakes, W. J. (2007). Endoscopically assisted decompression of the suprascapular nerve in the supraspinous fossa: A cadaveric feasibility study. Laboratory investigation. Journal of Neurosurgery, 107(6), 1164-1167. https://doi.org/10.3171/JNS-07/12/1164