Axillary nerve dysfunction

Alternative Names

Neuropathy – axillary nerve

Definition of Axillary nerve dysfunction

Axillary nerve dysfunction is a loss of movement or sensation of the shoulder because of nerve damage.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Axillary nerve dysfunction is a form of peripheral neuropathy. It occurs when there is damage to the axillary nerve, which supplies the deltoid muscles of the shoulder. A problem with just one nerve group, such as the axillary nerve, is called mononeuropathy.

Signs and tests

Your health care provider will examine the arm and shoulder. There may be weakness of the shoulder with difficulty moving the arm.

Treatment

Some people do not need treatment, and they get better on their own but the rate of recovery is variable and can take many months.

Expectations (prognosis)

It may be possible to make a full recovery if the cause of the axillary nerve dysfunction can be identified and successfully treated.

Review

David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Daniel B. Hoch, PhD, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 3/26/2009

Damaged axillary nerve

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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