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Revista Brasileira de Ortopedia

Print version ISSN 0102-3616

Abstract

TENOR JUNIOR, Antonio Carlos et al. Comparative anatomical study between the right and left sides of the axillary nerve in relation to deltopectoral approach and acromion. Rev. bras. ortop. [online]. 2011, vol.46, n.3, pp. 309-314. ISSN 0102-3616.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-36162011000300014.

OBJECTIVE: To establish anatomical parameters for the axillary nerve by measuring the distances to the acromion and the deltopectoral access, and to ascertain whether there are any differences in comparative measurements between the left and right sides. METHOD: An anatomical study on the path of the axillary nerve was conducted by dissecting 30 shoulders of 20 fresh adult cadavers. For comparative study, bilateral dissection was performed on 10 cadavers. Digital caliper gauges, accurate to the nearest 0.05 cm, were used to measure the distances between the lateral extremity of the acromion and the anterior and posterior branches of the axillary nerve, and between the deltopectoral space and the anterior branch of the axillary nerve. RESULTS: The shortest distance between the acromion and the axillary nerve was 5.47 cm, and the greatest distance was 7.06 cm. The shortest distance between the deltopectoral groove and the axillary nerve was 3.94 cm. A statistically significant difference was found using Wilcoxon's test in comparative measurements between the left and right sides for the distances between the posterior branch of the axillary nerve and the midpoint of the lateral border of the acromion (A-E), and between the anterior branch of the axillary nerve and the anterior extremity of the acromion (B-C), both of which were larger on the right side. CONCLUSIONS: The axillary nerve was situated between 5.47 and 7.06 cm distally to the acromion, and 3.94 cm laterally to the deltopectoral space. There was a statistically significant difference in the comparison between the left and right sides, and both measurements were larger on the right side.

Keywords : Shoulder; Brachial Plexus; Measures; Cadaver.

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