Accessory Nerve

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Related to Spinal accessory nerve: transverse cervical artery, Dorsal scapular nerve

accessory nerve

[ak′ses·ə·rē ‚nərv]
The eleventh cranial nerve in tetrapods, a paired visceral motor nerve; the bulbar part innervates the larynx and pharynx, and the spinal part innervates the trapezius and sternocleidomastoid muscles.

Nerve, Accessory


(nervus accessorius, or nerve of Willis, after the English physician T. Willis, who first described it in 1664), the 11th pair of cranial nerves.

The accessory nerve originates in the medulla oblongata and the spinal cord. It emerges from the cranial cavity with the glossopharyngeal and vagus nerves through the jugular foramen and supplies motor fibers to the sternocleidomastoid muscle on the neck (with unilateral contraction, this muscle inclines the head to the side and turns the face in the opposite direction) and to the trapezius muscle on the back (it raises the pectoral girdle and adducts the scapula). Some of the fibers of the accessory nerve are connected to the vagus nerve and with its branches reach the muscles of the soft palate, the pharynx, and the larynx.

References in periodicals archive ?
Suzuki K, Doi K, Hattori Y, Pagsaligan JM: Long term results of spinal accessory nerve transfer to the suprascapular nerve in upper type paralysis of brachial plexus injury, 2007; 23(6): 295-9.
Existing similar shoulder activities in cases 2 and 3 suggested that repetitive overuse of the shoulder may have prompted injury of the spinal accessory nerve.
Duplication of internal jugular vein and relation to the spinal accessory nerve.
The majority of patients underwent a selective ND (levels II to V) with preservation of the sternocleidomastoid muscle, internal jugular vein, and spinal accessory nerve as dictated by operative findings.
Functional evaluation of the spinal accessory nerve after neck dissection.
Hatcher-Murphy Disorder (HMD) is a manifestation or dysfunction of the tissues involving the brainstem and the spinal accessory nerve or cranial nerve 11.
The patient was taken to the operating room for wide excision of the mass, including resection of the floor of the neck musculature and neck dissection of levels II, III, and V; the sternocleidomastoid muscle and spinal accessory nerve were sacrificed.
Some degree of scapular drooping is observed following all types of neck dissection, especially when the spinal accessory nerve has been removed.