What is the morbidity associated with spinal accessory nerve (SAN) injury?

Updated: Mar 04, 2020
  • Author: Rohan R Walvekar, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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SAN injury results in shoulder dysfunction that affects the overall quality of life. Currently, several treatment options with predictable results are available to manage patients diagnosed with SAN trauma, provided the appropriate treatment is initiated in a timely fashion. Major pitfalls in early management of SAN injury include failure to recognize or acknowledge the injury and choosing conservative management in the hope that function will return without intervention. [14] The incidence of serious sequelae can be reduced by maintaining a high index of suspicion for SAN injury. Early identification and timely intervention consequently results in better therapeutic outcomes.

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