Last reviewed: November 2017
Last updated: November  2017

Summary

Definition

History and exam

Key diagnostic factors

  • spontaneous onset of neck pain
  • cervical muscle pain and spasm
  • headaches or occipital pain
  • weakness or numbness
  • presence of radiating arm pain
  • proximal arm weakness
  • distal hand weakness
  • reflex changes
  • gait ataxia

Other diagnostic factors

  • cervical muscle spasm
  • decreased cervical range of motion
  • sensory changes

Risk factors

  • age >40 years
  • head or neck trauma
  • previous cervical spine surgery
  • previous cervical myofascial strain
  • genetic predisposition

Diagnostic investigations

1st investigations to order

  • cervical MRI
  • cervical x-ray
Full details

Investigations to consider

  • cervical CT scan
  • cervical CT myelogram
  • cervical/upper extremity EMG or nerve conduction velocity
  • cervical nerve root block
Full details

Treatment algorithm

Contributors

Authors VIEW ALL

Dennis A. Turner

Professor

Neurosurgery and Neurobiology

Duke University Medical Center

Durham

NC

Disclosures

DAT is an author of a reference cited in this monograph.

Peer reviewers VIEW ALL

Associate Professor of Surgery

Associate Professor in Anesthesiology

Associate Vice-Chair, Systems Integration

Department of Surgery

Duke University Medical Center

Durham

NC

Disclosures

RP is an author of a number of references cited in this monograph.

Consultant Rheumatologist

Lister Hospital

East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust

Stevenage

UK

Disclosures

AIB is an author of a number of references cited in this monograph.

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