Spinoglenoid notch syndrome

Last revised by Sonam Vadera on 16 Feb 2024

Spinoglenoid notch syndrome is caused by compression of suprascapular nerve due to a ganglion cyst at the spinoglenoid notch resulting in shoulder pain and posterior shoulder tenderness.

On clinical examination, there is posterior shoulder tenderness, discomfort in external rotation and abduction.

Weakness and wasting of the infraspinatus muscle is seen due to suprascapular nerve compression. There is sparing of the supraspinatus muscle as its muscular branches from the suprascapular nerve are given off prior to the nerve's course through the spinoglenoid notch. 

A ganglion cyst elicits hyperintense signal on T2 and STIR images. Adjacent muscle changes are often visible: edema in acute changes and atrophy or fatty infiltration in chronic changes.

Ultrasound-guided aspiration of cyst followed by physical therapy of shoulder joint is the most popular approach. Arthroscopic decompression of the ganglion, and open excision of the cyst are the other available surgical options.

Clinically, it may be mistaken for cervical spondylosis or rotator cuff injury.

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