Suprascapular neuropathy in a young male handball player: case report

Acta of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery | Volume 3 | Issue 1 | Jan- June 2019 | Page 16-18 | Luís Henrique Barros, Claudia Rodrigues, Rui Claro

Authors: Luís Henrique Barros [1], Claudia Rodrigues [1], Rui Claro [1].

[1] Centro Hospitalar do Porto

Address of Correspondence
Dr. Luís Henrique Barros,
Avenida da República, 855, 1º direito, Vila Nova de Gaia, 4430-201, Portugal
Centro Hospitalar do Porto


Background: Suprascapular neuropathy is an uncommon but a very disabling condition. If not diagnosed early, it can lead to irreversible changes. Their prevalence is higher among males and active population, mainly in overhead athletes.
Methods: A 22-year-old male, who is a handball player, reported right shoulder pain, fatigue, and discomfort after one month holding a backpack during hiking in his vacations. He did not remember any trauma to the right shoulder. Clinically, he had a normal active and passive range of motion but the moderate weakness of the right shoulder external rotator muscles. At inspection, he had marked atrophy of supraspinatus and infraspinatus muscles. MRI demonstrated a superior labrum from anterior to the posterior lesion with large multiloculated Paralabral cyst and electromyography was consistent with compression of the suprascapular nerve.
Results: The patient was submitted to arthroscopic labral repair and decompression of the suprascapular nerve. Six months after surgery he has no pain and limitation and is recovering strength
Conclusions: Paralabral cysts are described in the literature as causing compression on spinoglenoid notch and thus coursing with infraspinatus atrophy. This case demonstrates an unusual presentation with both supra and infraspinatus muscles atrophy. Early recognition of these injuries is crucial because complication and morbidity rates are high with delayed diagnosis, mainly in the athlete population.
Keywords: suprascapular neuropathy, SLAP lesion, paralabral cyst, overhead athletes lesions, supraspinatus muscle atrophy, infraspinatus muscle atrophy.


1. Schroeder AJ, Bedeir YH, Schumaier AP, Desai VS, Grawe BM. Arthroscopic Management of SLAP Lesions With Concomitant Spinoglenoid Notch Ganglion Cysts: A Systematic Review Comparing Repair Alone to Repair With Decompression. Arthroscopy. 2018. Epub 2018/03/05. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2018.01.031. PubMed PMID: 29501216.
2. Zehetgruber H, Noske H, Lang T, Wurnig C. Suprascapular nerve entrapment. A meta-analysis. International orthopaedics. 2002;26(6):339-43. Epub 2002/12/06. doi: 10.1007/s00264-002-0392-y. PubMed PMID: 12466865; PubMed Central PMCID: PMCPMC3620977.
3. Schroder CP, Lundgreen K, Kvakestad R. Paralabral cysts of the shoulder treated with isolated labral repair: effect on pain and radiologic findings. J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2018;27(7):1283-9. Epub 2018/02/17. doi: 10.1016/j.jse.2017.12.022. PubMed PMID: 29449084.
4. Romeo AA, Rotenberg DD, Bach BR, Jr. Suprascapular neuropathy. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 1999;7(6):358-67. Epub 2001/08/11. PubMed PMID: 11497489.
5. Pillai G, Baynes JR, Gladstone J, Flatow EL. Greater strength increase with cyst decompression and SLAP repair than SLAP repair alone. Clinical orthopaedics and related research. 2011;469(4):1056-60. Epub 2010/11/26. doi: 10.1007/s11999-010-1661-5. PubMed PMID: 21104358; PubMed Central PMCID: PMCPMC3048282.

How to Cite this article: Barros L H, Rodrigues C, Claro R. Suprascapular neuropathy in a young male handball player: case report. Acta of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery Jan – June 2019;3(1):16-18.

(Abstract    Full Text HTML)      (Download PDF)