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June 15, 1946


Author Affiliations

Medical Corps, Army of the United States

From the Medical Service and Neurosurgical Service, O'Reilly General Hospital, Springfield, Mo.

JAMA. 1946;131(7):581-587. doi:10.1001/jama.1946.02870240013004

Among the many conditions with which ruptured intervertebral disks in the cervical region may be confused is coronary artery disease. It is our purpose in this paper to review some of our cases of ruptured cervical disks which have caused symptoms similar to those of angina pectoris and coronary thrombosis and to speculate on the cause of the precordial pain. It is hardly necessary to emphasize the importance of differentiating between these diseases, not only because of the difference in the treatment and in the prognosis but because many people are made hopeless cardiac cripples by such errors in diagnosis.

Intraspinal rupture of one of the lower cervical (fifth, sixth or seventh) disks1 usually causes pain in the neck with radiation to the shoulder, to the precordium and down the arm, often associated with stiffness of the neck, weakness in the arm and hand and numbness of one or

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