Nerve entrapment

Nerve entrapment is a very common condition affecting the shoulder and there are many potential causes. If untreated, it can lead to nerve palsy, presenting as shoulder weakness and possible pain.

What are the causes of nerve entrapment?

The suprascapular nerve can be affected by a number of conditions or injured directly. This includes shoulder dislocations, labral tears or cysts that press on the nerve or it can be the result of trauma caused by repetitive strain. It is a common problem for athletes such as swimmers or tennis players that continual repeat overhead movements.

Your London Shoulder Specialist consultant will first try and establish the exact cause of the problem as well as assessing your range of movement and levels of pain. An MRI scan of the soft tissues in the shoulder will usually be ordered.

What are my treatment options for nerve entrapment?

Treatment typically starts with lifestyle adjustments and physiotherapy to restore muscle strength. Occasionally surgery may be needed, especially if the cause of the problem is entrapment or compression. Arthroscopic decompression of the suprascapular nerve is done through small keyholes, cutting the ligament above the nerve to allow more space. This procedure should result in full movement and reduction of symptoms.