Axillary Nerve Injury

with Rehab

Injury to the axillary nerve may be caused by direct trauma, excessive stretching, shoulder dislocation, or a broken (fracture) bone near the nerve.

SYMPTOMS

CAUSES

Direct trauma to the axillary nerve, too much stretching of the nerve, shoulder dislocation, or a broken bone near the nerve.

RISK INCREASES WITH:

PREVENTION

PROGNOSIS

Axillary nerve injuries usually get better on their own. If the injury is due to direct trauma, the likelihood of it healing on its own is decreased. Surgery is rarely necessary.

RELATED COMPLICATIONS

TREATMENT

Treatment initially involves resting from any activity that causes the symptoms to get worse. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications may help lessen the pain. It is important to maintain shoulder strength and flexibility, thus strengthening and stretching exercises may be recommended. These exercises may be completed at home or with a therapist. A therapist may recommend additional treatments. If non-surgical (conservative) treatment is unsuccessful, surgery may be required. Surgery involves fixing what is causing the injury. If the cause of injury cannot be determined or fixed, surgery is performed so that you may be able to use another muscle to control the deltoid muscle. Surgery to transfer tendons is needed in people who have problems with activities of daily living. Some athletes are unable to participate in sports if they have an axillary nerve injury, particularly throwing athletes. However, others may be able to compete, such as linemen in football.

MEDICATION

HEAT AND COLD

SEEK MEDICAL CARE IF:

EXERCISES

RANGE OF MOTION (ROM) AND STRETCHING EXERCISES - Axillary Nerve Injury

These exercises may help you when you start to restore (rehabilitate) your injury to a better condition. Your symptoms may get better with or without further involvement from your physician, physical therapist or athletic trainer. While completing these exercises, remember:

ROM - Pendulum

Repeat __________ times. Complete this exercise __________ times per day.

STRETCH – Flexion, Seated

Repeat __________ times. Complete this exercise __________ times per day.

STRETCH – Flexion, Standing

Repeat __________ times. Complete this exercise __________ times per day.

STRETCH – Abduction, Supine

Repeat __________ times. Complete this exercise __________ times per day.

ROM – Flexion, Active-Assisted

Repeat __________ times. Complete this exercise __________ times per day.

STRETCH – Flexion, Standing

Repeat __________ times. Complete this exercise __________ times per day.

STRENGTHENING EXERCISES - Axillary Nerve Injury

Strength exercises are not often a priority during the early recovery phases of an axillary nerve injury. If your physician, physical therapist, or athletic trainer notes any weakness, he or she will prescribe exercises specific to your current state to supplement your rehabilitation.