European Journal of Anatomy

Official Journal of The Spanish Society of Anatomy
Cover Volume 24 - Number 5
Eur J Anat, 24 (5): 363-369 (2020)

Applied anatomy of the suprascapular nerve: a cadaveric study

Tran Huu Thanh1, Cao Thi2, Nguyen Van Huy3, Nguyen Chi Nguyen4

1Hospital of Post and Telecommunications, Ho Chi Minh city, Viet Nam, 2University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Ho Chi Minh city, Viet Nam, 3Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, Tay Nguyen University, Viet Nam, 4Free clinic, Ho Chi Minh city, Viet Nam

ABSTRACT The suprascapular nerve plays a very important role in the shoulder. Characterization of anatomy is essential to assist surgeons in shoulder surgery. Objectives: This study is to determine further the anatomical characteristics of the SSN regarding origin, pathway, branching and correlations of SSN with some neighboring structures. Thirty speci-mens taken from 15 fresh cadavers (9 males and 6 females) were dissected and data were recorded. The presences of the motor branches, sensitive branches, some neighboring structures and the correlation between them and the SSN were de-scribed. The distances from the SSN at the su-prascapular notch and spinoglenoid notch to some neighboring structures were measured. The SSN arises from the upper trunk of the brachial plexus. The nerve has two motor branches for supraspina-tus and infraspinatus muscles and two sensory branches, the superior articular branch for acromi-oclavicular joint and coracohumeral ligament about 73.3%, the inferior articular branch for the posterior joint capsule about 100%. The average distance from the nerve at the suprascapular notch to the acromion lateral border is 61.4 mm, to the tip of coracoid is 49.5 mm, and to the superior rim of the glenoid is 31.7 mm. The average distance from the nerve at the spinoglenoid notch to the posterior rimof the glenoid is 19.9 mm. This circles the safe distances for shoulder surgeries. This study deter-mines the anatomical characteristics of the SSN and defines the safe zone on the shoulder. It al-lows surgeons to avoid causing the nerve injury and to approach it easily.

Keywords: Suprascapular nerve Superior transverse scapular ligament Anterior coraco-scapular ligament Spinoglenoid ligament Su-prascapular neuropathy

European Journal of anatomy
ISSN 2340-311X (Online)