Learn About Axillary Nerve Dysfunction

What is the definition of Axillary Nerve Dysfunction?

Axillary nerve dysfunction is nerve damage that can lead to a loss of movement or sensation in the shoulder.

Save information for later
Sign Up
What are the alternative names for Axillary Nerve Dysfunction?

Neuropathy - axillary nerve

What are the causes of Axillary Nerve Dysfunction?

Axillary nerve dysfunction is a form of peripheral neuropathy. It occurs when there is damage to the axillary nerve. This is the nerve that helps control the deltoid muscles of the shoulder and the skin around it. A problem with just one nerve, such as the axillary nerve, is called mononeuropathy.

The usual causes are:

  • Direct injury
  • Long-term pressure on the nerve
  • Pressure on the nerve from nearby body structures
  • Shoulder injury

Entrapment creates pressure on the nerve where it passes through a narrow structure.

The damage can destroy the myelin sheath that covers the nerve or part of the nerve cell (the axon). Damage of either type reduces or prevents the movement of signals through the nerve.

Conditions that can lead to axillary nerve dysfunction include:

  • Body-wide (systemic) disorders that cause nerve inflammation
  • Deep infection
  • Fracture of the upper arm bone (humerus)
  • Pressure from casts or splints
  • Improper use of crutches
  • Shoulder dislocation

In some cases, no cause can be found.

What are the symptoms of Axillary Nerve Dysfunction?

Symptoms may include any of the following:

  • Numbness over part of the outer shoulder
  • Shoulder weakness, especially when lifting the arm up and away from the body
Not sure about your diagnosis?
Check Your Symptoms
What are the current treatments for Axillary Nerve Dysfunction?

Depending on the cause of the nerve disorder, some people do not need treatment. The problem may get better on its own. The rate of recovery is different for everyone. It can take many months to recover.

Anti-inflammatory medicines may be given if you have any of the following:

  • Sudden symptoms
  • Small changes in sensation or movement
  • No history of injury to the area
  • No signs of nerve damage

These medicines reduce swelling and pressure on the nerve. They may be injected directly into the area or taken by mouth.

Other medicines include:

  • Over-the-counter pain medicines may be helpful for mild pain (neuralgia).
  • Medicines to help reduce stabbing pain.
  • Opiate pain relievers may be needed to control severe pain.

If your symptoms continue or get worse, you may need surgery. If a trapped nerve is causing your symptoms, surgery to release the nerve may help you feel better.

Physical therapy can help maintain muscle strength. Job changes, muscle retraining, or other forms of therapy may be recommended.

Who are the top Axillary Nerve Dysfunction Local Doctors?
Elite
Highly rated in
6
conditions

University Hospital Of Getafe

Department Of Plastic Surgery 
Getafe, MD, ES 

Andres Maldonado is in Getafe, Spain. Maldonado is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Axillary Nerve Dysfunction. He is also highly rated in 6 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Axillary Nerve Dysfunction, Erb's Palsy, Brachial Plexopathy, and Peripheral Neuropathy.

Distinguished
Highly rated in
3
conditions

University Hospital Kralovske Vinohrady

Prague, PR, CZ 

Pavel Haninec is in Prague, Czech Republic. Haninec is rated as a Distinguished expert by MediFind in the treatment of Axillary Nerve Dysfunction. He is also highly rated in 3 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Axillary Nerve Dysfunction, Erb's Palsy, Brachial Plexopathy, and Ganglion Cyst.

 
 
 
 
Learn about our expert tiers
Learn more
Distinguished
Highly rated in
9
conditions
Hand Surgery
Orthopedics

Mayo Clinic

Rochester, Minnesota

200 1st St Sw 
Rochester, MN 55905

Alexander Shin is a Hand Surgeon and an Orthopedics doctor in Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Shin has been practicing medicine for over 32 years and is rated as a Distinguished doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Axillary Nerve Dysfunction. He is also highly rated in 9 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Brachial Plexopathy, Erb's Palsy, Axillary Nerve Dysfunction, and Osteonecrosis. He is licensed to treat patients in Florida and Minnesota. Dr. Shin is currently accepting new patients.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Axillary Nerve Dysfunction?

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

What are the possible complications of Axillary Nerve Dysfunction?

Complications may include:

  • Deformity of the arm, shoulder contracture, or frozen shoulder
  • Partial loss of sensation in the arm (uncommon)
  • Partial shoulder paralysis
  • Repeated injury to the arm
When should I contact a medical professional for Axillary Nerve Dysfunction?

Call for an appointment with your provider if you have symptoms of axillary nerve dysfunction. Early diagnosis and treatment increase the chance of controlling symptoms.

How do I prevent Axillary Nerve Dysfunction?

Preventive measures vary, depending on the cause. Avoid putting pressure on the underarm area for long periods. Make sure casts, splints, and other appliances fit properly. When you use crutches, learn how to avoid putting pressure on the underarm.

Damaged axillary nerve
What are the latest Axillary Nerve Dysfunction Clinical Trials?
Match to trials
Find the right clinical trials for you in under a minute
Get started
What are the Latest Advances for Axillary Nerve Dysfunction?
Plate Positioning Affects the Pressure on the Axillary Nerve Following a Deltopectoral Approach.
Effect of surgical approaches on deltoid innervation and clinical outcomes in the treatment of proximal humeral fractures.
Tired of the same old research?
Check Latest Advances
Reverse total shoulder arthroplasty for the treatment of old fracture of proximal humerus in elderly patients.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date : January 28, 2021
Published By : Evelyn O. Berman, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at University of Rochester, Rochester, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Hess DE, Taylor KF, Chhabra AB. Nerve entrapment. In: Miller MD, Thompson SR, eds. DeLee, Drez, & Miller's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 54.

Pierrie SN, Loeffler BJ. Common nerve injuries about the shoulder. In: Skirven TM, Osterman AL, Fedroczyk JM, Amadio PC, Feldscher SB, Shin EK, eds. Rehabilitation of the Hand and Upper Extremity. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 47.