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Head Neck. 2011 Jul;33(7):1060-7. doi: 10.1002/hed.21495. Epub 2010 Oct 19.

Neck treatment and shoulder morbidity: still a challenge.

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Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Nottingham University Hospital, Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham, United Kingdom.


Shoulder complaints and functional impairment are common sequelae of neck dissection. This is often attributed to injury of the spinal accessory nerve by dissection or direct trauma. Nevertheless, shoulder morbidity may also occur in cases in which the spinal accessory nerve has been preserved. In this article, the physiology and pathophysiology of the shoulder are discussed, followed by a consideration of the impact of neck dissection on shoulder complaints, functional impairment, and quality of life. Finally, rehabilitation will be considered.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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