The Axillary Nerve is one of the most important nerves for normal shoulder function. It can injured in shoulder dislocations and it is also at risk of injury during shoulder surgery. There is a particular type of ligament injury that occurs when some patients dislocate their shoulder. The most important stabilising ligament of the shoulder tears off the humerus (upper arm), instead of the glenoid (on the shoulder blade) – which is generally the case. The Axillary Nerve is extremely close to the torn ligament on the humerus.
In this study, Associate Professor Raniga and his colleagues learnt that the Axillary Nerve is in danger if this ligament is repaired arthroscopically (keyhole surgery) and that its best to repair this with conventional open surgery to avoid injury to this very important nerve.