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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
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accessory nerve palsy
Posted by: June
Date: March 7, 2001 4:50 AM

I have been told I may have accessory nerve palsy following cervical spine surgery two years ago. My symptoms include a shoulder drop on one side with difficulty raising my arm on that side as well as chronic pain in that scapula area and a weakness down the arm on the same side. What can I do for this? Do you think physical therapy would help at all? I am 77 and wondering if "old" muscles can be revived?

RE: Goodpasture's syndrome
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: March 7, 2001 3:50 PM

That makes sense because the accessory nerve innervates the trapezius muscle. Peripheral nerves can regenerate, providing they are not completely severed. About the best you can do is supply plenty of vitamins, including B12 and folic acid and be patient. It requires months/years. Certainly old muscles can be revived, and yours are not even that old. Exercise, testosterone, and growth hormone will help as will physical therapy. The purpose of physical therapy is to keep the muscles in good shape so that when the innervation is restored there will be something to innervate. Be patient; you will continue to improve for years.



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