Neurovascular injuries to the shoulder

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 1993 Jul;18(1):360-4. doi: 10.2519/jospt.1993.18.1.360.


The throwing athlete is at risk for neurovascular injuries of the shoulder because of the excessive demands placed upon the shoulder by repetitive throwing motions. The most commonly recognized neurovascular compression syndromes are axillary artery occlusion, effort thrombosis, quadrilateral space syndrome, and thoracic outlet syndrome. Diagnosis is aided by the use of the Adson's test, costoclavicular maneuver, and hyperabduction maneuver. Initial treatment usually is nonoperative. Anticoagulation or thrombolytic therapy can be used for vascular occlusion. Surgery usually is reserved for patients suffering acute or chronic symptoms despite nonoperative treatment. With proper treatment, most patients are able to resume their previous athletic activities in a timely manner with minimal disability.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Injuries / etiology
  • Constriction, Pathologic / etiology
  • Humans
  • Nerve Compression Syndromes / etiology*
  • Peripheral Vascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Shoulder / blood supply
  • Shoulder / innervation
  • Shoulder Injuries*