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Eur Spine J. 2011 Jul;20 Suppl 2:S217-21. doi: 10.1007/s00586-010-1585-5. Epub 2010 Oct 13.

Cervical cord compression presenting with sciatica-like leg pain.

Author information

1
Department of Orthopaedic, Sarawak General Hospital, Kuching, Malaysia.

Abstract

Sciatica-like leg pain can be the main presenting symptom in patients with cervical cord compression. It is a false localizing presentation, which may lead to missed or delayed diagnosis, resulting in the wrong plan of management, especially in the presence of concurrent lumbar lesions. Medical history, physical findings and the results of imaging studies were reviewed in two cases of cervical cord compressions, which presented with sciatica-like leg pain. There was multi-level cervical spondylosis with cord compression in the first patient and the second patient had two levels of cervical disc herniation with cord compression. In both cases, there were co-existing lumbar lesions, which could be responsible for the presentation of the leg pain. Cervical blocks were diagnostic in identifying the level responsible for the leg pain and it was confirmed so after cervical decompressive surgery in both cases, which brought significant pain relief. Funicular leg pain is a rare presentation of cervical cord compression. It is a referred pain due to the irritation of the ascending spinothalamic tract. Cervical blocks were successful in identifying the cause of funicular pain in our cases and this may pave the way for further studies to establish the role of cervical blocks as a diagnostic tool for funicular pain caused by cord compression.

PMID:
20938789
PMCID:
PMC3111492
DOI:
10.1007/s00586-010-1585-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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