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Curr Sports Med Rep. 2012 Jan-Feb;11(1):28-34. doi: 10.1249/JSR.0b013e318240dc3f.

Radiating upper limb pain in the contact sport athlete: an update on transient quadriparesis and stingers.

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  • 1Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98014, USA.


Participation in contact sports exposes the athlete to a risk of cervical spine injury. Temporary neurological injuries manifesting as radiating arm pain or paresthesias, such as transient quadriparesis and stingers, present unique challenges for the sports medicine physician and will be reviewed in detail. The initial management of these conditions must recognize signs and symptoms of spinal cord injury and prevent further neurological sequelae. Evaluation will often include advanced imaging of the cervical spine in addition to serial neurological examinations. This review concludes with rational return-to-play guidelines for contact sport athletes.

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