The Accessory Nerve
The radical neck dissection (RND) in the management of head and neck cancers may be done in the expense of the spinal accessory nerve (SAN) 1. De-innervations of the muscles supplied by SAN and integrated in the movements of the shoulder joint, often result in shoulder dysfunction. Usually the result is shoulder syndrome which subsequently affects the quality of life1. The modified radical neck dissections (MRND) and selective neck dissection (SND) intend to minimize the dysfunction of the shoulder by preserving the SAN, especially in supra-hyoid neck dissection (Level I-III±IV) and lateral neck dissection (level II-IV)2, 3. This article aims to focus on the SAN to increase the awareness during MRND and SND.
Keywords: Spinal accessory, Sternocleidomastoid, Trapezius, Cervical plexus.
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