Suprascapular notch

The suprascapular notch (or scapular notch) is a notch in the superior border of the scapula, just medial to the base of the coracoid process.

Suprascapular notch
Costal surface of left scapula. Suprascapular notch shown in red.
Costal surface of left scapula. Suprascapular notch visible in the red square.
LatinIncisura scapulae
Anatomical terms of bone

This notch is converted into a foramen by the superior transverse scapular ligament, and serves for the passage of the suprascapular nerve (but not its corresponding artery); sometimes the ligament is ossified. The suprascapular artery travels superiorly to the superior transverse ligament.[1]

According to Rengachary et al. 1979, there are six basic types of scapular notch:[2]

  • Type I (8%): Notch is absent. The superior border forms a wide depression from the medial angle to the coracoid process.
  • Type II (31%): Notch is a blunted V-shape occupying the middle third of the superior border.
  • Type III (48%): Notch is U-shaped with nearly parallel margins.
  • Type IV (3%): Notch is V-shaped and very small. A shallow groove is frequently formed for the suprascapular nerve adjacent to the notch.
  • Type V (6%): Notch is minimal and U-shaped with a partially ossified ligament.
  • Type VI (4%): Notch is a foramen as the ligament is completely ossified.

Additional images

See also


This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 204 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)


  • Habermeyer, Peter; Magosch, Petra; Lichtenberg, Sven (2006). Classifications and Scores of the Shoulder. Springer. ISBN 978-3-540-24350-2. LCCN 2005938553.
  • Rengachary, S. S.; Burr, D.; Lucas, S.; Hassanein, K. M.; Mohn, M. P.; Matzke, H. (1979). "Suprascapular entrapment neuropathy: a clinical, anatomical, and comparative study". Neurosurgery. 5 (4): 447–451. doi:10.1227/00006123-197910000-00007. PMID 534049.
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