Primary Article

Trapezius Paralysis After Minor Surgical Procedures in the Posterior Cervical Triangle



Abstract: Three patients had laceration of the spinal accessory nerve in the posterior cervical triangle during a surgical procedure. Paralysis of the trapezius muscle occurred with resulting deformity of the shoulder. Anastomosis of two of the three nerves, three months and seven months after injury, resulted in return of muscle strength and normal function. One patient had an irreparable nerve lesion and was treated by fascial stabilization and tendon transfer. The result was excellent 11 months after operation. Much of the shoulder pain had been relieved and function had greatly improved. I conclude that repair of the nerve within 12 months after injury provides good prognosis for recovery of trapezius muscle function.

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