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Original Article

J Med Allied Sci. 2019; 9(2): 63-66

Clinically relevant variations in branching pattern of axillary nerve

Takkallapalli Anitha, Anwar Unisa Sabry, Moota Aditya, Mohammed Awais, P. Jayasudha.


Injuries to the axillary nerve make up to 6% of all brachial plexus inju-ries. Injury to the anterior trunk of the axillary nerve, as it passes around the humerus and innervates the anterior and middle deltoid, results in the devastating loss of upper arm flexion power. The present study aimed at revealing the clinically relevant variations of axillary nerve that could be applied during surgical procedures over shoulder and reduce the incidence of iatrogenic nerve damage. The study was conducted on 30 cadavers after careful dissection at Chalmeda Anand Rao Institute of Medical Sciences, Karimnagar. The trunk of axillary nerve was divided into anterior and posterior divisions in the quadran-gular space in all 60 limbs (100%). The anterior division of axillary nerve innervated the capsule of shoulder joint, clavicular and acromial fibres of deltoid in all 60 limbs (100%). The posterior division gave off the nerve to teres minor and the upper lateral cutaneous nerve of arm in all the 60 limbs (100% of cases). The posterior part of deltoid showed three variations in its innervation. In 78.33% (47) of limbs it was supplied only by posterior division, in 15% (9) of limbs by both the divisions and in 6.7% (4) of limbs only by the anterior division. To con-clude, axillary nerve can give a motor branch to long head of triceps and dual innervation of posterior fibres of deltoid should be considered, while examining a patient for axillary nerve injury or during innervation procedures.

Key words: Axillary nerve, Nerve injury, Triceps muscle

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