Special paper – Anatomical pathology
Sexual dimorphism of the suprascapular notch – morphometric study
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Submission date: 2010-12-30
Final revision date: 2011-03-11
Acceptance date: 2011-03-31
Online publication date: 2013-02-10
Publication date: 2013-02-28
Arch Med Sci 2013;9(1):177–183
Introduction: The concept of the study was to compare the morphometry of the suprascapular notch (SSN) in females and males because its size and shape may be a factor in suprascapular nerve entrapment.
Material and methods: The measurements of 81 scapulae included morphological length and width, maximal width and length projection of the scapular spine, and width and length of the glenoid cavity. The width-length scapular and glenoid cavity indices were calculated. In addition to standard anthropometric measurements three other dimensions were defined and collected for every SSN: maximal depth (MD), superior (STD) and middle (MTD) transverse diameters.
Results: The analysis of the measurements allowed us to distinguish five types of SSN. Type I (26%) had longer maximal depth than superior transverse diameter. Type II (3%) had equal MD, STD and MTD. In type III (57.6%) superior transverse diameter was longer than maximal depth. In type IV (7.4%) a bony foramen was present. Type V (6%) was without a discrete notch. Types I and III were divided into two subtypes: A (MTD was longer than STD) and B (MTD < STD). Distribution of the suprascapular notch types in both sexes was similar. However, MD, STD and MTD were significantly higher in males. The superior transverse suprascapular ligament was completely and partially ossified in 7.4% and 24.7% respectively.
Conclusions: The presented classification of the suprascapular notch is simple, easy to use, and based on specific geometric parameters which allow one to clearly distinguish five types of these structures. All dimensions of SSN were significantly higher in males than in females.