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Isolated Suprascapular Nerve Palsy: a Review of Nine Cases

     Henry Berry, Kester Kong, Alan R Hudson and Richard J Moulton

Abstract:   Background: In nine patients, suprascapular nerve palsy followed serious accidents associated with fractures of the cervical vertebrae, clavicle or scapula and after weight lifting, wrestling and a fall on the elbow or shoulder. Method: All patients were examined as to muscle wasting, weakness and shoulder fixation. EMG examination was done in all cases and six patients underwent surgical exploration. Results: The palsy was incomplete on clinical and EMG examination in all patients. On exploration, scarring, entrapment, tethering or kinking at the suprascapular notch was found in four and two had post-traumatic neuromas. Conclusions: In contrast to published studies, none of our patients presented with shoulder pain, a spontaneous onset nor with involvement limited to the infraspinatus muscle. The differential diagnosis should include C5 root lesion, brachial plexus neuritis, frozen shoulder and tear of the rotator cuff.

Can. J. Neurol. Sci. 1995; 22: 301-304


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