While rare, nerve entrapment at the shoulder is a commonly missed condition which can lead to pain and weakness in the arm.
Suprascapular nerve entrapment is seen primarily in patients who have had prior surgery but continue to have symptoms in spite of a seemingly structurally intact shoulder. As we typically perform the nerve exploration and release arthroscopically, minimal immobilization is needed and usually within 4-6 weeks, patients are improving and approaching normal activities.
Less commonly, the axillary or radial nerves can become entrapped between several tendons on the back of the shoulder. This is known as Quadrilateral Space Syndrome and is mainly seen in male athletes who are involved in throwing sports or contact sports. A cyst can develop near the bottom of the shoulder due to injury to the labrum and these patients can be successfully treated with arthroscopic decompression of the cyst. Occasionally these cysts can become quite large and may require a larger incision on the back of the shoulder to adequately correct.