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Spine J. 2008 Sep-Oct;8(5):729-31. Epub 2007 Dec 21.

Isolated C3-C4 disc herniations present as a painless myelopathy.

Author information

1
Department of Neurosurgery, Vancouver General Hospital, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND CONTEXT:

Cervical disc herniations at the C3-C4 level are distinctly uncommon. The authors present the first case series of isolated C3-C4 disc herniations presenting with myelopathy.

PURPOSE:

To elucidate a rare presentation of the uncommon C3-C4 disc herniation.

STUDY DESIGN:

Case series.

PATIENT SAMPLE:

The four patients who presented with myelopathy caused by isolated C3-C4 disc herniations, at the spine unit, Vancouver General Hospital between 1999 and 2005.

OUTCOME MEASURE:

Improvement in neurological status.

METHODS:

We retrospectively reviewed the files of the patients. The clinical features and outcome of surgery were assessed.

RESULTS:

The C3-C4 disc herniation can present as with no or mild pain, and hand numbness was a prominent symptom. Early recognition and treatment led to favorable outcome.

CONCLUSIONS:

Myelopathy is rarely caused by a C3-C4 disc herniation. This etiology may be underdiagnosed but has a more favorable outcome in those cases where rapid diagnosis is followed by spinal cord decompression.

PMID:
18082465
DOI:
10.1016/j.spinee.2007.10.037
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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