Accessory nerve

The accessory nerve is a cranial nerve that controls certain neck muscles. It is coiled in appearance. It is divided into spinal and cranial parts, but its cranial part is often disregarded. The spinal accessory nerve provides the sternocleidomastoid and trapezius neck muscles with motor function. Research on the accessory nerve has determined it is similar in morphological data to the phrenic nerve. The minimal distance between these nerves is (3.19 +/- 1.23) centimeters and the maximal distance between the beginning of the accessory nerve and the phrenic nerve's end above the clavicle is (8.71 +/- 0.75) centimeters. Thus, the accessory nerve is similar to the phrenic nerve in the amount of motor nerve fibers it has. They are also both long enough to connect as needed, without strain. Dysfunction of the spinal accessory nerve can negatively affect the shoulder girdle's performance. Accessory nerve palsy is one complication that most often occurs after surgery has been performed on the neck's posterior triangle. Additionally, there are three types of accessory nerve schwannoma tumors that occur in some people: intracisternal, spinal canal, and intrajugular; they can be removed by a suboccipital approach.
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
Co-developed by:

In Depth: Accessory nerve

Debugging Tools

Level: 5
Frame: 13
Toggle Hotspot
VP Data Tool
HexTable json from Steve
Steve's ajax layer update call:
[still on original layer]

Ad values:

adModel.dfpAdSite: hn.us.hl.bm.x.x.x
adParams['k1']: otherneurologicaldisorders,accessory_nerve,8002447

More on BodyMaps

Take a Video Tour

Learn how to rotate, look inside and explore the human body. Take the tour

BodyMaps Feedback

How do you like BodyMaps? How can we improve it? Tell us what you think
Advertisement
Advertisement