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Indian Journal of Clinical Anatomy and Physiology

The Spinal Accessory Nerve Anatomy and its role in neck dissections; a review article

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Author Details : Subhadra Nori

Volume : 2, Issue : 4, Year : 2015

Article Page : 235-240

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Introduction: The purpose of this literature review is to expand our existing knowledge to further understand the innervation of the trapezius muscle, so that new light can be shed which might aid in better outcomes in shoulder function after neck dissections.
Methods: A pub med review of the literature revealed 539 articles of which 15 were chosen.
Results: Anatomic dissections using cadavers and intraoperative stimulation studies on live patients undergoing neck dissections are presented.
Discussion: The Spinal accessory nerve still remains the main nerve supply to the trapezius muscle. Several anatomical details of this nerve are presented. Although cervical plexus provides contributions they are not consistent. A majority of authors agree that during surgical dissections one should avoid removal of any nerve including the branches of the cervical plexus in order to achieve better functional outcomes, and to avoid the disabling shoulder syndrome.

Key words
: Trapezius, Spinal Accessory nerve, Sternocleido mastoid, Neck dissections

How to cite : Nori S, The Spinal Accessory Nerve Anatomy and its role in neck dissections; a review article. Indian J Clin Anat Physiol 2015;2(4):235-240

Copyright © 2015 by author(s) and Indian J Clin Anat Physiol. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY-NC 4.0) (