axillary neuropathymedical dictionary

<neurology, pathology> A condition involving dysfunction of the axillary nerve which normally supplies the deltoid and teres minor muscles and sensation to the lateral aspect of the shoulder. This condition is a type of peripheral neuropathy that may manifest as the result of a variety of disease processes or injuries. Conditions associated with axillary nerve dysfunction include mononeuritis multiplex, fracture of the humerus, abduction injury to the shoulder, pressure to the armpit from a cast, splint or crutches.

Symptoms include numbness over the outer portion of the shoulder, shoulder weakness and difficulty lifting arm or objects over your head. An EMG, nerve conduction study or muscle biopsy can be helpful in making the diagnosis. Recovery is generally spontaneous if the underlying cause can be corrected and shoulder mobility is preserved. Corticosteroid injections may be indicated in some instances.

Origin: Gr. Pathos = disease

(27 Sep 1997)