This study was performed to identify the anastomoses between the accessory nerve and the posterior roots of cervical nerves below the level of C1 segment, and to evaluate their clinical significance. One hundred spinal cord sides of Koreans were studied under the surgical microscope. In order to trace the posterior root of a cervical nerve after anastomosis with the accessory nerve, or the bridging fibers between the accessory nerve and the cervical posterior roots, the accessory nerves with the posterior roots and the bridging fibers were stained with osmium tetroxide. The anastomosis was classified into five types, according to whether the accessory nerve and the cervical posterior root crossed each other, and also according to the site of the bridging fiber between them. The bridging fibers in the most common type of anastomoses were observed to connect the posterior roots of a cervical nerve with the spinal rootlet of the accessory nerve. The possibility that the motor fibers of accessory nerve from the spinal cord may innervate the trapezius muscle through the cervical nerve, was discussed.
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