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J Pain Symptom Manage. 1998 May;15(5):321-8.

Spinal accessory nerve palsy as a cause of pain after whiplash injury: case report.

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Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center 10021, USA.


Spinal accessory nerve injury is most commonly reported following surgery in and around the posterior cervical triangle. Pain, impaired ability to raise the ipsilateral shoulder, and scapular winging on abduction of the arm are the most frequently noted clinical manifestations. We report the case of a collegiate swimmer who developed left-sided neck and shoulder pain secondary to a spinal accessory nerve palsy (SANP) after a "whiplash injury," which we believe to be the first such reported case in the English language literature. We review the clinical manifestations, diagnostic pitfalls, and therapeutic approaches to SANP. A high index of suspicion for SANP following whiplash-type injury will ensure its earlier detection and treatment and improve the chances of a better functional outcome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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