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Spinal Accessory Nerve Injury

The spinal accessory nerve originates in the brain and enables motion in the trapezius and sternomastoid muscles in the neck. A spinal accessory nerve injury can be caused by trauma or damage during surgery, resulting in shoulder pain, "winging" of the shoulder blades and weakness of the trapezius muscle.

Spinal Accessory Nerve Injury: Why Choose Johns Hopkins

nerve anatomy animation
  • The experts at Johns Hopkins treat the range of neurological problems from the common to the very rare. More expertise ensures accurate diagnosis and an appropriate treatment plan. 

  • For treatment of a spinal accessory nerve injury, you will benefit from our multidisciplinary approach, with insights from neurology, neurosurgery and orthopaedics, as well as physical medicine and rehabilitation. 

  • Our holistic approach addresses the total well-being of the patient. You can rely on our experience, successful surgical outcome record and access to quality hospital care. 

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Treatment for Spinal Accessory Nerve Injury

Nonsurgical treatment for spinal accessory nerve injuries involve physical therapy to reduce pain and restore function. 

Surgery may be necessary for some spinal accessory nerve injuries. Surgical options your doctor may recommend include:

  • Nerve surgery
  • Nerve grafting
  • Nerve regeneration

For patients who are not candidates for nerve surgery, other options such as tendon or muscle transfer may be recommended to stabilize the scapula and neck muscles.

Allan Belzberg

Allan Belzberg, M.D.

Your Peripheral Nerve Surgery Team


Allan Belzberg, M.D.
Thomas M. Brushart, M.D.
Richard James Redett, III, M.D.
Jaimie Troyal Shores, M.D.

Advanced Practitioners

Leslie Morgan, N.P. 
Bronwyn Slobogean, P.A. 

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Maryland Patients

To request an appointment or refer a patient, please contact the Johns Hopkins Peripheral Nerve Surgery Center at 410-614-9923.
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Adult Neurology: 410-955-9441
Pediatric Neurology: 410-955-4259
Adult Neurosurgery: 410-955-6406
Pediatric Neurosurgery: 410-955-7337


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