Parsonage turner syndrome: a common syndrome usually missed


  • Vijay Kumar Pandey Department of Plastic Surgery, Command Hospital, Chandimandir, Haryana
  • Anil Malik Department of Plastic Surgery, Command Hospital, Chandimandir, Haryana
  • Dev Jyoti Sharma Department of Plastic Surgery, Command Hospital, Chandimandir, Haryana
  • Kumar Pushkar Command Hospital, Wanowrie, Pune, Maharashtra



Parsonage-turner syndrome, Serratus anterior muscle, Scapula, Lateral thoracic nerve


Background: Parsonage-turner syndrome (PTS) is a rare syndrome that can occur in normal healthy individuals with sudden, rather abrupt, unilateral shoulder pain that may begin rather insidiously but quickly amplifies in severity and intensity. The acute period of pain is subsequently replaced over a course of a few days to weeks with progressive weakness, reflex changes, and sensory abnormalities in varying presentations that typically involve the shoulder girdle musculature and proximal upper limb muscles. There are no definite etiological factors present in causation of this syndrome.

Methods: Prospective multicentric cohort study covering period from 2010 to 2020. 10 young male patients were included in the study group, all of them presented with winging of scapula and pain. Initial evaluation was done at neurology department and after failure of conservative treatment of average period of six month they were referred to plastic surgery department. All patients had ENMG findings preoperatively.

Results: 10 male patients were studied with average age of 24.8 years. Partial paralysis present for an average of 1 year. Repeated micro trauma was the most common aetiology. Intraoperatively 7 patients had anomalous vascular compression of long thoracic nerve (LTN) and three had compression due to fibrous sheath. All patients had complete recovery at end of one year.

Conclusion: Isolated LTN paralysis is a rare condition that is not well known. If conservative management fails, then neurolysis of the distal segment of LTN gives good result if performed within 6-12 months of paralysis.


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Original Research Articles