The spinal accessory nerve (SAN) is susceptible to iatrogenic injury in the posterior cervical triangle. Early diagnosis and management of suspected SAN transection injuries are crucial in the restoration of shoulder stability and function. Although neurologic examination and electrodiagnostic testing can assess SAN function, they cannot assess nerve continuity. We report the use of sonography to prospectively evaluate the SAN in 6 patients with suspected iatrogenic SAN injury. Sonography directly visualized SAN transection in 4 cases, whereas sonographic findings were reported as "probable" transection in the fifth case and was nondiagnostic in the sixth case in the setting of extensive scarring.
- Iatrogenic injury
- Spinal accessory nerve
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging