What are the differential diagnoses of spinal accessory nerve (SAN) injury?

Updated: Mar 04, 2020
  • Author: Rohan R Walvekar, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
  • Print

The differential diagnoses of SAN injury are as follows:

  • Lesions of the long thoracic nerve of Bell: Scapular winging in lesions of the long thoracic nerve is accentuated by forward flexion of the affected upper extremity as opposed to accentuation by abduction in SAN injury. [1, 20]

  • Myofascial pain syndromes of the shoulder girdle region: The absence of significant muscular atrophy and weakness and the absence of scapular winging differentiate this syndrome from SAN injury.

  • Whiplash injury: In whiplash injuries, symptoms are limited to the neck and include neck pain, headache, cervical spine rigidity, and limitation of neck motion. [20]

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!