Microneurolysis and decompression of long thoracic nerve injury are effective in reversing scapular winging: Long-term results in 50 cases

Rahul K Nath, Andrew B Lyons and Gabriel Bietz

This study undertook a series of long thoracic nerve decompression and neurolysis to demonstrate the usefulness of long thoracic nerve decompression in treating scapular winging.  47 patients underwent decompression and microneurolysis of the long thoracic nerve in the supraclavicular space.  The results showed that the procedure improved scapular winging in 98% cases. Pain reduction through surgery was good or excellent in 86% cases. Shoulder instability affected 21 patients preoperatively and persisted in 5 of these patients after surgery, even in the 5 patients with persistent instability who experienced some relief from the winging itself.  The authors conclude that surgical decompression and neurolysis of the long thoracic nerve significantly improve scapular winging in appropriate patients, for whom these techniques should be considered a primary modality of functional restoration.

BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2007, 8:25

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