Injuries to the phrenic nerve resulting in diaphragmatic paralysis with special reference to stretch trauma

Am J Surg. 1976 Aug;132(2):263-9. doi: 10.1016/0002-9610(76)90058-1.


Traumatic interruption of the phrenic nerve causing diaphragmatic paralysis occurs much more commonly than realized. Patients present with symptoms referable to the respiratory, gastrointestinal, or cardiovascular systems as a result of anatomic displacement of the respective organ (eventration). Symptoms often occur shortly after the injury but may be delayed for many years; consequently, prolonged follow-up of these patients is essential. If patients are symptomatic after trauma, judicious observation is dictated, since many will experience gradual return of normal diaphragmatic function over the succeeding six to twelve months. In those who remain significantly symptomatic, thoracotomy and imbrication of the eventration is a simple and effective surgical procedure.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Diaphragm / diagnostic imaging
  • Diaphragm / surgery
  • Diaphragmatic Eventration / diagnosis
  • Diaphragmatic Eventration / etiology
  • Diaphragmatic Eventration / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phrenic Nerve / injuries*
  • Radiography, Thoracic
  • Wounds and Injuries / complications*
  • Wounds, Gunshot / surgery