Neurologic Injury

The most common neurologic injury about the shoulder involves compression of the suprascapular nerve. This nerve originates from the brachial plexus distal C5-C6 nerve roots and courses posteriorly to the suprascapular notch. Not uncommonly, this nerve becomes entrapped beneath the transverse ligament at the level of the notch. Traction injuries from explosive movements can also injure the nerve. On examination, infraspinatus atrophy and associated weakness and external rotation will typically be found. The initial treatment is conservative. Electromyographic and nerve conduction velocity studies will reveal the extent and location of nerve injury. Surgery for decompression is considered if conservative measures fail.

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