Acute Shoulder Pain Followed by Shoulder Weakness and Atrophy: A Characteristic Presentation of Parsonage-Turner Syndrome
Parsonage-Turner syndrome, or “neuralgic amyotrophy,” is a rare idiopathic disorder characterized by acute onset of upper extremity pain, with subsequent development of muscle weakness and atrophy.1 , 2 The exact pathophysiology is unknown, but is hypothesized to include immunologic, biomechanical, and genetic factors.3 Nerves of the brachial plexus are most commonly affected. Parsonage-Turner syndrome is a clinical diagnosis, as EMG has low sensitivity.3 Recovery can take months to years, and is often incomplete. There is no evidence-based treatment, and management is supportive.2 Eighteen months after symptom onset, the patient has not recovered strength in his shoulder.
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Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they do not have a conflict of interest.
- 2.van Alfen N, van Engelen BGM, Hughes RAC. Treatment for idiopathic and hereditary neuralgic amyotrophy (brachial neuritis). Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009;(3):1-16.Google Scholar