Turkish Neurosurgery 2005 , Vol 15 , Num 4
Iatrogenic Injury to the Spinal Accessory Nerve: Late Surgery
Department of Neurosurgery, Gülhane Military Medical Academy, Ankara, Turkey The spinal accessory nerve (SAN) is responsible for the main motor innervation to the trapezius muscle. It is susceptible to iatrogenic injury as its course is superficial and close to the posterior lymph node chain and the posterior cervical triangle is covered only by skin and the investing fascia of the neck. SAN palsy may be mistaken for glenohumeral joint or muscular injury because the patient's complaint may initially be shoulder pain. It is recommended to repair the nerve within three months after the injury for the best results, but we also obtained a good result although we operated on the patient nine months after the injury.

Injury of the SAN should be considered in the differential diagnosis when there is a history of an operation in the posterior triangle of the neck. Surgical repair of the SAN results in a favorable outcome. It is possible to obtain good results even with late surgery. Keywords : Spinal accessory nerve, Iatrogenic nerve lesion, Nerve repair, Late surgery

Corresponding author : Doğa Gürkanlar, dgurkanlar@hotmail.com