Suprascapular neuropathy: A review of 87 cases

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Conference Proceeding

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Objective: To understand the etiology, clinical, electrodiagnostic findings and recovery time in patients with suprascapular neuropathy (SSN). Background: SSN is rare with estimated prevalence of 4.3% in patients with shoulder pain. Symptoms and physical findings can mimic rotator cuff disease. Design/Methods: Retrospective chart review of patients with EMG diagnostic code of SSN who were seen at Henry Ford Hospital between Jan 2000-Dec 2016 was performed. Demographics and detailed clinical information were recorded and included date of diagnosis, side of injury, potential etiology, muscle atrophy, pain, weakness, treatment and recovery time. Detailed electrodiagnostic data was also recorded. Results: 87 patients with SSN were included. 58 patients had isolated SSN (ISSN). Axillary neuropathy (AN) was found to be commonly associated with SSN (24). SSN + brachial plexopathy (2), long thoracic neuropathy (2) and radial neuropathy (1) were also seen. The 3 most common causes of SSN were Idiopathic (27), trauma (24) and heavy weight lifting (14). Remaining causes were due to sports related injuries (9) or were secondary to overuse (9). In 4 cases etiology was unclear. Two sample t-tests, Wilcoxon two sample tests and chisquare tests revealed that patients with ISSN more likely to have etiologies of heavy weight lifting, sport related and idiopathic while patients with SSN+AN were more likely to have etiologies of MVA and fall. Significant differences were also found for supra weakness MRS scale (p=0.002) with patients with isolated having higher values and for EMG supraspinatus recruitment (p=0.025) with patients with isolated having lower values. The median recovery times for the two groups are 8.8 months (95%CI=6.7, 12) for the isolated group and 10.5 months (95%CI=7.2, 40.9) for the axillary group. Conclusions: SSN can be seen in isolation or other mononeuropathies. Axillary neuropathy is commonly associated with SSN. Idiopathic or inflammatory process (brachial neuritis) is the most common etiology followed by trauma.




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