Briefly, the patient visited the family physician in July 2009 for a lump in his left neck. The family physician recommended that the mass be surgically excised which was subsequently performed by the same family physician (not a surgeon) in the office. After the procedure, the patient experienced a weakened left arm and shoulder and had difficulty picking things up with that arm or moving the arm more than 90 degrees. Subsequent evaluation by an orthopedic surgeon and neurosurgeon determined that the spinal accessary nerve was cut at the time of the neck mass excision.
So what probably happened?
The spinal accessory nerve (also known as cranial nerve XI), is a major nerve that comes off the spinal cord and supplies motor function to the shoulder and arm (red arrow below pointing to the nerve which is yellow).
|Image Modified from Wikipedia|
Montco jury awards Hatboro man $4M for nerve damage. Phillyburbs 8/27/13