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Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria

Print version ISSN 0004-282X

Arq. Neuro-Psiquiatr. vol.52 no.4 São Paulo Dec. 1994 

Isolated and painless (?) atrophy of the infraspinatus muscle: left handed versus right handed volleyball players


Atrofia isolada e não dolorosa (?) do músculo infraespinhoso: jogadores de voleibol destros versus canhotos



Thiago D. Gonçalves Côelho

Medicine student. Faculty of Medicine, Federal University of Paraiba




The suprascapular nerve originates from the upper trunk of the brachial plexus or less frequently from the root of C5. It runs a short way and crosses the suprascapular notch. It innervates the supraspinatus muscle and the acromioclavicular and glenohumeral joints. Then, it crosses the lateral edge of the spine of the scapula passing through the spinoglenoid notch, and innervates the infraspinatus muscle. These are potential sites of injury to the suprascapular nerve. Three cases of suprascapular nerve entrapment causing an isolated infraspinatus muscle atrophy in volleyball players were studied. It is suggested the hypothesis that the nature of the smash, in which the athlete uses the arm violently, more than does in volleyball service or in the art of reception, is the key to the pathogenesis of the lesion in volleyball players.

Key words: volleyball, infraspinatus muscle, suprascapular nerve, entrapment neuropathy, muscular atrophy.


O nervo supraescapular se origina do tronco superior do plexo braquial ou, menos frequentemente, da raiz de C5. Percorre curto caminho e cruza a incisura supraescapular. Daí, o nervo supraescapular dá ramos para o músculo supraespinhoso e para as articulações acromioclavicular e glenoumeral. Então, cruza a borda lateral da espinha da escápula, passando através da chanfradura espinoglenóide e inervando o músculo infraespinhoso. Esses são locais potenciais para lesão do nervo supraescapular. Foram estudados três casos de compressão do nervo supraescapular causando atrofia isolada do músculo infraespinhoso em jogadores de voleibol. É sugerida a hipótese de que a natureza do ataque, na qual o atleta usa o braço violentamente, mais do que no saque ou na recepção, seja a chave da patogênese da lesão em jogadores de voleibol.

Palavras-chave: voleibol, músculo infraespinhal, nervo supraescapular, neuropatía compressiva, atrofia muscular.



Texto completo disponível apenas em PDF.

Full text available only in PDF format.



Acknowledgements - We would like to thank to the coach Mr. Fernando Antonio Ferreira de Andrade from S.E.R.V. team. Also, we thank to Mr. Marcelo Jackson Dinoa Almeida and to the players that permitted us to make all required examinations. We thank to Dr. Jovany LA. Medeiros for performing the electrophysiological studies.



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Aceite: 28-junho-1994.



Thiago Diniz Gonçalves Côelho - Rua Monsenhor Palmeira 454 - 58135-000 Esperança PB - Brasil.

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