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Ann Rehabil Med. 2018 Oct;42(5):773-776. doi: 10.5535/arm.2018.42.5.773. Epub 2018 Oct 31.

Spinal Accessory Nerve Injury Induced by Manipulation Therapy: A Case Report.

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Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, St. Paul's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.


Spinal accessory nerve (SAN) injury mostly occurs during surgical procedures. SAN injury caused by manipulation therapy has been rarely reported. We present a rare case of SAN injury associated with manipulation therapy showing scapular winging and droopy shoulder. A 42-year-old woman visited our outpatient clinic complaining of pain and limited active range of motion (ROM) in right shoulder and scapular winging after manipulation therapy. Needle electromyography and nerve conduction study suggested SAN injury. Physical therapy (PT) three times a week for 2 weeks were prescribed. After a total of 6 sessions of PT and modality, the patient reported that the pain was gradually relieved during shoulder flexion and abduction with improved active ROM of shoulder. Over the course of 2 months follow-up, the patient reported almost recovered shoulder ROM and strength as before. She did not complain of shoulder pain any more.


Manipulation; Spinal accessory nerve

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