Suprascapular notch

Last revised by Yoshi Yu on 23 Mar 2023

The suprascapular notch is located on the superior aspect of the scapula, at the scapula's anterolateral aspect.

The suprascapular notch separates the superior border of the scapula from the coracoid process. 

The suprascapular nerve passes through the notch on its course over the scapula to the supraspinous fossa in the dorsal shoulder.

The superior transverse scapular ligament passes over the notch and attaches to the base of the coracoid process. The suprascapular artery passes over the ligament.

One classification system attempts to categorize variant suprascapular notch anatomy 2:

  • type I: no suprascapular notch

  • type II: there is a 'V' shape to the suprascapular notch, and it is located in the middle third of the superior border

  • type III: there is a 'U' shape to the suprascapular notch

  • type IV: similar to type II, but very small; the suprascapular nerve  often passes through a groove next to the notch

  • type V: similar to type III, but very small, with a partially ossified ligament

  • type VI (4%): the transverse scapular ligament is completely ossified

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: suprascapular notch (red arrow)
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  • Case 1: annotated image
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  • Case 2: paralabral cyst into suprascapular notch
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