Topographic mapping of the superior transverse scapular ligament: A cadaver study to facilitate suprascapular nerve decompression

Adam B. Weinfeld, Jonathan Cheng, Rahul K. Nath, Ihsan Basaran, Eser Yuksel, James E. Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Division of the superior transverse scapular ligament for decompression of suprascapular nerve entrapment can be curative. However, the superior transverse scapular ligament can be difficult to locate, and large incisions are often required. This study was designed to determine the topographic coordinates of the superior transverse scapular ligament to permit reproducible surgical localization and reduce incision size. In 20 cadavers, the superior transverse scapular ligament was identified through a superior approach. Measurements were obtained from the superior transverse scapular ligament to external landmarks. The superior transverse scapular ligament was located 1.3 ± 0.3 cm (± SD) posterior to the posterior border of the clavicle and 2.9 ± 0.8 cm from the acromioclavicular joint in a two-dimensional surface plane. The depth of the superior transverse scapular ligament from the skin surface was 3.9 ± 0.7 cm. An incision (mean length, 6.3 ± 0.7 cm) derived from a novel system of planning marks facilitated access to the superior transverse scapular ligament. The authors conclude that the superior transverse scapular ligament can be located consistently through an incision located on the superior aspect of the shoulder on the basis of palpable topographic landmarks. The superior approach permits small incision size and the maintenance of local muscle anatomic integrity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)774-779
Number of pages6
JournalPlastic and reconstructive surgery
Volume110
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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