Had EMG this morning, Doc says my Suprascapular Nerve is small. What does this mean?

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For a little background, I've had 5 shoulder surgeries in the last 3 years: Capsular shift on my left, capsular shift on my right, biceps tenodesis on my right, subacromial decompression on my right, and the last surgery was a subacromial decompression again on my right, Slap repair, suprascapular nerve release, another SAD, and some other minor repairs. I'm a 27 y/o female who played college basketball. I had surgery in late May and am still in PT.

I've had burning in what feels like my trap/shoulder blade area on both sides for what seems like forever. The suprascapular nerve release on my right shoulder has worked wonders for me and I no longer having a burning nerve pain in that area. However, I have a terrible burning sensation in my left trap/shoulder blade all the time now that probably just went unnoticed because the right shoulder hurt so much.

I went to the doc and he suggested we do an EMG on my left shoulder to see if I had an impinged suprascapular nerve on the left side as well. The doc said I had a very small suprascapular nerve. Can anyone explain what this means? He said in my last EMG on my right side, the nerve was small and slow, but this one is just small. I don't really know how to take this. Does this mean I need surgery again?

Thanks in advance for the help/advice!

0 likes, 9 replies

9 Replies

  • Posted

    I think it means the ' container ' the nerve is too smsll so it presses on the nerve slow nerves are nerves that dont conduct well due to danage

    I am not a doctor though so this is just from googling

    • Posted

      Thanks! I wasn't able to find much by way of Googling the problem so this is helpful. Thanks for your reply

  • Posted

    Wow, that's a lot of stuff for someone your age. I would ask the doctor if inflammation is causing the nerve impingement and if a cortizone shot and/or anti-inflammatory medication might help, Perhaps some type of epidural could be an option. All of this is temporary, but it may help out from the pain management side.

    • Posted

      It really is quite a lot for someone my age. sad that's a great point about inflammation possibly causing the impingement. My next appointment is on Tuesday, so I'll be sure to bring it up with him. I've had roughly 10 cortisone shots in the last few years and haven't seen much improvement. I'm interested in going the epidural route. Would that cause me to not be able to move my arm though?

    • Posted

      Hi I had SAD op last Aug for an impingement the pain after surgery was horrendous. I then got a frozen shoulder which has now been manipulated. I've got pain in my long bicept head tendon their looking to cut the tendon and reattached it to the arm. I'd be interested to know how you've coped with this and how difficult is recovered. I have burning in my trap muscle I am being told this is because my shoulder is very week some muscles are over compensating. I am afraid of further opps due to pain and suffering please could you advise on your recovery. Thks jane

    • Posted

      Not sure but I don't think so. Epidural shots are normally associated with nerve issues in the back. I don't know if there's anything other than a general cortizone shot for the shoulder. Perhaps the cortizone is not getting to the right spot to relieve the inflammation and a pinpoint type injection (if possible) would work better.

    • Posted

      @jane47013, i'm doing very well after my last surgery which included a SAD, Slap repair, arthritic debridement, and suprascapular nerve release. I had 7 anchors placed in my shoulder during that procedure, so my shoulder was very tight after the surgery. Around 3 months post-op i started seeing the most progress and was actually able to live again. The nerve release helped tremendously and i no longer have the burning pain in my right shoulder. I have talked to my doctor about just doing the nerve release on my left and it seems like it would be a fairly easy/painless procedure with a short recovery time. I thought the SAD alone was a pretty easy/painless procedure as well, so i'm not sure if that is much help to you. Not to scare you, but the biceps tenodesis was pretty painful for ~1-2 months and i was on painkillers for a long time. It was definitely worth the pain because I am feeling a lot better now. I had that procedure done in June of 2015 and was hiking in the alps by month 3. Best of luck to you. 

  • Posted

    Bless your heart, I can expect the pain I'm going through, I'm old but your so young, and I hate to see such young people go through so much in so little time. I dislocated my shoulder about April and then in June I fell at work Intra-Articular Distal Radius Fracture of the wrist fell on outstretched hands twisted ankle but ankles fine, was referred to Ortho, went 12 days after fall he said no fracture, first diagnosis was fall caused Arthritic Episode, then when pain went across wrist toward ulna side it was thought I had Carpel Tunnel, last diagnosis since pain was radiating up arm Cubital Tunnel, he has forgotten about my hand and it feels like it's been repeatedly slammed in a door now I have shoulder pain and it radiates up my neck with burning sensation, I'm lost and my second opinion is in November 9 I can't wait to see another doctor, this was work related and it's been like pulling teeth to get anything done here we're coming upon 4 months and pain is worse than when I fell, oh yeah I left out the part where he gave me a cortisone injection at base of thumb and felt like he hit something and it's went downhill sense. I was shown a fracture in scaphoid bone nondisplaced, but it sure feels displaced now and I have swelling now and didn't before...

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