Suprascapular nerve rotator cuff compression syndrome in volleyball players

J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 1998 Sep-Oct;7(5):516-21. doi: 10.1016/s1058-2746(98)90205-1.


Selective denervation of the infraspinatus muscle producing weakness and wasting has been reported in certain sports (eg, volleyball and baseball). Nerve kinking or friction caused by excessive infraspinatus motion and compression by superior or inferior transverse scapular ligament or ganglions have been proposed as possible causes. However, in extreme abduction with full external rotation of the shoulder, the medial tendinous margin between the infraspinatus and supraspinatus muscles impinges strongly against the lateral edge of scapular spine, compressing the intervening infraspinatus branch of the suprascapular nerve. Spinaglenoid notchplasty has been performed in 5 elite volleyball players with infraspinatus neuropathy, allowing recovery of shoulder function in all patients and correction of infraspinatus muscle wasting. All returned to the same or higher level of volleyball by 8 months after surgery. An alternative cause of infraspinatus compromise in volleyball players is proposed and has been treated surgically with satisfactory outcome.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / etiology
  • Athletic Injuries / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nerve Compression Syndromes / etiology*
  • Nerve Compression Syndromes / surgery
  • Rotator Cuff / physiology*
  • Scapula / innervation*
  • Treatment Outcome