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Parsonage Turner Syndrome - Analysis Of Two Cases

Author(s): Dr. Raju Karuppal

Journal: Journal of Orthopaedics
ISSN 0972-978X

Volume: 2;
Issue: 5;
Date: 2005;
Original page

Keywords: Bilateral Winging of scapula | Brachial Plexus neuritis | Parsonage-Turner syndrome

Brachial Plexus neuritis, often referred to as Parsonage-Turner syndrome, can be a vexing problem for both the patient and the physician. It is a common condition characterized by inflammation of a network of nerves that control and innervate the muscles of the chest, shoulders, and arms (brachial plexus). Individuals with the condition first experience a sudden onset of severe pain across the shoulder and upper arm. Within a few hours or days, the muscles of the involved shoulder may be affected by, weakness, wasting (atrophy), and paralysis (atrophic paralysis). Although individuals with the condition may experience paralysis of the affected areas for months or, in some cases, years, recovery is usually complete. The exact cause of Parsonage-Turner Syndrome is not known. Today different mononeuropathies are described as syndromes and cervical plexus neuropathies are indicated by their etiology. This condition presents with severe pain in the shoulder and arm, followed by atrophic paralysis of some muscles of shoulder girdle. Often a generalized aching and fever precede it. If serratus anterior is involved, and it usually is, the scapula wings and the patient has difficulty in raising his arm upward and outward. This type of condition was documented by J. D. Spillane in 1943(1). The pain decreased spontaneously and eventually resolved completely in all patients. Weakness in the shoulder had developed at a mean of approximately four weeks after the initial onset of pain. The weakness decreased spontaneously but very gradually in one case, one patient had persistent, mild weakness at the most recent follow-up evaluation.
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