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Cervical cord compression presenting with sciatica-like leg pain.

Summary of "Cervical cord compression presenting with sciatica-like leg pain."

Sciatica-like leg pain can be the main presenting symptom in patients with cervical cord compression. It is a false localizing presentation, which may lead to missed or delayed diagnosis, resulting in the wrong plan of management, especially in the presence of concurrent lumbar lesions. Medical history, physical findings and the results of imaging studies were reviewed in two cases of cervical cord compressions, which presented with sciatica-like leg pain. There was multi-level cervical spondylosis with cord compression in the first patient and the second patient had two levels of cervical disc herniation with cord compression. In both cases, there were co-existing lumbar lesions, which could be responsible for the presentation of the leg pain. Cervical blocks were diagnostic in identifying the level responsible for the leg pain and it was confirmed so after cervical decompressive surgery in both cases, which brought significant pain relief. Funicular leg pain is a rare presentation of cervical cord compression. It is a referred pain due to the irritation of the ascending spinothalamic tract. Cervical blocks were successful in identifying the cause of funicular pain in our cases and this may pave the way for further studies to establish the role of cervical blocks as a diagnostic tool for funicular pain caused by cord compression.

Affiliation

Department of Orthopaedic, Sarawak General Hospital, Kuching, Malaysia.

Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: European spine journal : official publication of the European Spine Society, the European Spinal Deformity Society, and the Euro
ISSN: 1432-0932
Pages:

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

A condition characterized by pain radiating from the back into the buttock and posterior/lateral aspects of the leg. Sciatica may be a manifestation of SCIATIC NEUROPATHY; RADICULOPATHY (involving the SPINAL NERVE ROOTS; L4, L5, S1, or S2, often associated with INTERVERTEBRAL DISK DISPLACEMENT); or lesions of the CAUDA EQUINA.

Acute and chronic conditions characterized by external mechanical compression of the SPINAL CORD due to extramedullary neoplasm; EPIDURAL ABSCESS; SPINAL FRACTURES; bony deformities of the vertebral bodies; and other conditions. Clinical manifestations vary with the anatomic site of the lesion and may include localized pain, weakness, sensory loss, incontinence, and impotence.

A network of nerve fibers originating in the upper four cervical spinal cord segments. The cervical plexus distributes cutaneous nerves to parts of the neck, shoulders, and back of the head, and motor fibers to muscles of the cervical spinal column, infrahyoid muscles, and the diaphragm.

Longitudinal cavities in the spinal cord, most often in the cervical region, which may extend for multiple spinal levels. The cavities are lined by dense, gliogenous tissue and may be associated with SPINAL CORD NEOPLASMS; spinal cord traumatic injuries; and vascular malformations. Syringomyelia is marked clinically by pain and PARESTHESIA, muscular atrophy of the hands, and analgesia with thermoanesthesia of the hands and arms, but with the tactile sense preserved (sensory dissociation). Lower extremity spasticity and incontinence may also develop. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1269)

Discomfort or more intense forms of pain that are localized to the cervical region. This term generally refers to pain in the posterior or lateral regions of the neck.

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