What is Axillary Nerve Injury?
It is an injury to the axillary nerve, which can occur when there is a fracture to the surgical neck of the humerus, an anterior shoulder dislocation or a traction and compression injury.
How do I know I have axillary nerve injury?
You will experience the following symptoms:
Mild, dull achy pain in the outer part of your shoulder, which may spread to your arm
Numbness and tingling in the outer part of your shoulder
A feeling of your shoulder being unstable
Shoulder muscle weakness
Fatigue with overhead activities, lifting and/or throwing
Rest, ice, analgesics and anti-inflammatory medications seem to ease the pain.
What is the treatment for axillary nerve injury?
There are 3 severity levels of injury:
1. Neurapraxia: this results from an overstretch of the nerve fibres
- 2. Axonotmesis: this results from partial discontinuity of the nerve fibres
- 3. Neurotmesis: this results from complete severance of the nerve fibres with no continuity at all.
Depending on the severity of injury, you may require the following:
Physiotherapy – if the injury severity is categorised as neurapraxia or axonotmesis
Surgery – if the injury severity is categorised as neurotmesis. Post-surgery, physiotherapy is required to make a full recovery.
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