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Observed patterns of cervical radiculopathy differ from standard distribution in over half of patients

SpinalNewsInternational.com reports on a study published in The Spine Journal co-authored by Steven J. McAnany, MD, spine surgeon at HSS, examining patterns of cervical radiculopathy in a surgical population, to determine how often patients present “Netter diagram” versus nonstandard patterns.

Dr. McAnany and his co-author identified patients with single-level cervical radiculopathy operated on between March 2011 and March 2016 by six surgeons. The observed pattern of radiculopathy at presentation, including associated neck, shoulder, upper arm, forearm, and hand pain and/or numbness, was determined from chart review and patient-derived pain diagrams. The Fisher exact test was used to analyze categorical data and Student t-test was used for continuous variables. Additionally, a one-way ANOVA was used to determine differences in the observed versus expected radicular pattern and a logistic regression model assessed the effect of demographic variables on presentation with a nonstandard radicular pattern.

When a nonstandard radicular pattern was present, it differed by 1.68 dermatomal levels from the standard (p<0.0001). Neck pain - found in 81 percent of patients - was the most prevalent symptom and did not differ by cervical level. Furthermore, in a logistic regression model, none of the demographic variables were found to significantly impact the likelihood of presenting with a nonstandard radicular pattern.

Read the full article at SpinalNewsInternational.com.