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February 26, 1988

Why Was the Policeman's Lot Unhappy? More Flak Jacketing

Author Affiliations

Covenant Medical Center—Schoitz Waterloo, Iowa

Covenant Medical Center—Schoitz Waterloo, Iowa

JAMA. 1988;259(8):1179. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03720080015011

To the Editor.  —Concerning the Letter to the Editor entitled "A Policeman's Lot Is Not a Happy One: Flak Jacket Radiculopathy,"1I wish to point out that the term radiculopathy refers to injury to the nerve root just distal to the spinal cord. Dr Rachlin suggests that the police officer developed his symptoms because of axillary pressure from his flak jacket, especially while sitting. A lesion in that area would be appropriately labeled a brachial plexus injury of the lower trunk or medial cord, but certainly not a lesion of the root, which is, of course, much more proximal.I would further point out that results of nerve conduction studies distally at the ulnar and the median nerves would be expected to be normal if the nerve impingement occurred in the axilla, so the findings suggested in the letter are somewhat questionable.I think a more likely cause for