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March 1990

Sensory Impairment in the Hands Secondary to Spondylotic Compression of the Cervical Spinal Cord

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas.

Arch Neurol. 1990;47(3):309-311. doi:10.1001/archneur.1990.00530030085020

• In a 5-year period, 11 patients with spondylotic compression of the cervical spinal cord presented with a clinical picture dominated by glove-distribution sensory loss in the hands. Compressive lesions in each case were documented by myelography. The hand sensory loss was often global, and in some patients the involvement extended proximally as far as the elbows. Motor findings in the hands were no more than mild to moderate, as were motor and sensory findings in the legs. Nine patients improved with surgical decompression. The syndrome may result from ischemia to the intrinsic border areas of collateralization between the superficial pial network and the central arterial supply to the cervical cord, although venous stagnation may also play a role. This clinical presentation should always raise the suspicion of a cervical myelopathy, which is potentially treatable.

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