Citation, DOI & article data
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.
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.
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 supraspinatus 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
- motor muscular branches: supraspinatus and infraspinatus muscles
- sensory articular branches: acromioclavicular and glenohumeral joints
The suprascapular artery and vein run above the superior transverse scapular ligament.
- 6% arising directly from ventral primary ramus of C5 without other roots contribution3,4
- 18% having additional fibers from C4 contributing to the nerve4
- 1. Clinically Oriented Anatomy. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. ISBN:1451119453. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 2. Last's Anatomy. Churchill Livingstone. ISBN:0702033944. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 3. Standring, Susan, and Henry Gray. 2008. Gray's anatomy: the anatomical basis of clinical practice. [Edinburgh]: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier. http://www.clinicalkey.com/dura/browse/bookChapter/3-s2.0-B9780443066849X5001X
- 4. Chuog Shin, Seo-Eun Lee, Kee-Hyun Yu, Han-Kyo Chae, Kyu-Seok Lee. Spinal root origins and innervations of the suprascapular nerve. (2010) Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy. 32 (3): 235. doi:10.1007/s00276-009-0597-5 - Pubmed