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The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 76-B, Issue 3 | Pages 381 - 383
1 May 1994
de Laat E Visser C Coene L Pahlplatz P Tavy D

The incidence of nerve injuries in primary shoulder dislocation and humeral neck fracture is uncertain. We made a prospective study of 101 patients, using clinical examination and extensive electrophysiological assessment when there was suspicion of nerve damage. We found electrophysiological evidence of nerve injury in 45%, most involving the axillary, suprascapular, radial and musculocutaneous nerves. There were significantly more nerve injuries in older patients and those with a haematoma. Most patients recovered partially or completely in less than four months, and only eight had persistent motor loss. Early diagnosis and physiotherapy are recommended.