Suprascapular nerve

The suprascapular nerve is the only branch of the upper trunk (C5 and C6) of the brachial plexus, supplying the supraspinatus and infraspinatus muscles and sensation to the acromioclavicular and glenohumeral joints.

Gross anatomy

Origin

The suprascapular nerve arises from the upper trunk of the brachial plexus, which is formed from the anterior rami of the fifth and sixth cervical nerves.

Course

After branching from the brachial plexus the suprascapular nerve accompanies the suprascapular artery and vein laterally and posteriorly deep to the trapezius muscle to the superior margin of the scapula, where it passes through the suprascapular notch inferior to the superior transverse scapular ligament to enter the supraspinous fossa.

The suprascapular nerve gives off two branches to the supraspinatous muscle before passing through the spinoglenoid notch at the lateral border of the scapula spine to pass into the infraspinous fossa where it provides two terminal branches to the infraspinatus muscle.

Branches and supply
Relations

The suprascapular artery and vein run above the superior transverse scapular ligament.

Related pathology

Upper limb anatomy
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Article information

rID: 37659
Section: Anatomy
Tag: refs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

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Cases and figures

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    Figure 1: Suprascapular nerve
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    Figure 2: Labelled brachial plexus
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