Outcomes Following Closed Axillary Nerve Injury: A Case Report and Review of the Literature


We report a case of a 43-year-old male who sustained an axillary nerve injury secondary to a glenohumeral joint dislocation at a young age, and who has served over 20 years in the military with near normal shoulder function. In addition, we review the literature for the natural history of axillary nerve injury. A 43-year-old male sustained a left anterior glenohumeral dislocation in a motor vehicle accident as an 18-year-old. Following prompt manual reduction and subsequent physical therapy, the patient developed a permanent axillary nerve palsy. Despite the development of complete atrophy of his deltoid musculature and persistent sensory loss in the axillary nerve distribution, he experienced restoration of function with minimal to no deficit. Ultimately, he enlisted in the military 4 years after the injury and has served 22 years, which includes combat deployments with normal shoulder function and absence of pain. Axillary nerve injury is a relatively common injury after anterior glenohumeral joint dislocation. There is little known about the long-term outcome of patient's with permanent axillary nerve injury. This case suggests that it is possible for a young athletic individual to function at a high level of activity after permanent loss of axillary nerve function. 

Autor / Fonte:Joseph W Galvin, Josef K Eichinger Military Medicine 2016, 181 (3): e291-7
Link: http://publications.amsus.org/doi/10.7205/MILMED-D-15-00205