Tapia Syndrome Following Shoulder Surgery

Document Type

Conference Proceeding - Restricted Access

Publication Date



A 45 year old man underwent shoulder surgery and a right sided interscalene nerve block with catheter. In PACU he had ipsilateral tongue deviation which slightly improved after pausing the local infusion with subsequent catheter removal. Swallowing difficulties persisted for weeks and follow up was encouraged to assess adequate oral intake. These symptoms were consistent with Tapia’s Syndrome: a rare injury to both cranial nerves X and XII. Interscalene nerve block, orotracheal intubation, and beach chair position all may have contributed to the injury mechanism. This case describes the etiologies, diagnostic approaches, and treatment considerations to Tapia’s Syndrome.


American Society of Anesthesiology Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, October 9-11, 2021.