cervical disk syndrome

cervical disk syndrome

an abnormal condition characterized by compression or irritation of the cervical nerve roots in or near the intervertebral foramina before the roots divide into the anterior and posterior rami. When it is caused by ruptured intervertebral disks, degenerative cervical disk disease, or cervical injuries, it may produce varying degrees of malalignment, causing nerve root compression. Most cervical disk syndromes are caused by injuries that involve hyperextension. Edema usually occurs in all cases of cervical disk syndrome. Pain, the most common symptom, usually emanates from the cervical area but may radiate down the arm to the fingers and increase with cervical motion. The pain may increase sharply with coughing, sneezing, or any radical movement. Other signs and symptoms may be paresthesia, headache, blurred vision, decreased skeletal function, and weakened hand grip. Physical examination may reveal varying degrees of muscular atrophy, sensory abnormalities, muscular weakness, and decreased reflexes. Radiographic examination may show a loss of normal lordosis associated with the cervical vertebrae and may also reveal some minor malalignment of the vertebrae. Nonsurgical intervention, which is usually a successful treatment, may include immobilization of the cervical vertebrae to decrease irritation and to provide rest for the traumatized area. Other treatment may include special exercises, heat therapy, and intermittent traction. Mild analgesics are usually successful in controlling the pain associated with cervical disk syndrome, especially when used with immobilization. Surgery is recommended only when signs and symptoms persist despite nonsurgical treatment. The prognosis for this condition is usually good, but recurrence of symptoms is common. Also called cervical root syndrome. See also herniated disk, whiplash injury.

cervical disk syndrome

Neurosurgery A condition caused by cervical cord or root displacement or compression–often at multiple levels, characterized by radicular–suboccipital, cervical, interscapular, and thoracic pain that radiates into the upper extremities, aggrevated by movement, accompanied by paresthesias, and dysesthesias in cervical dermatomes; CDS may be accompanied by muscle fasciculations, spasms, and atrophy, lower extremity spasticity with extensor plantar sign, and spastic bladder Diagnosis Narrowed disk spaces, osteophytes, or spinal stenosis by radiology, myelography, CT, MRI Treatment-medical Immobilization, traction in a neutral position, transcutaneous injection of enzymes–eg collagenase, to dissolve cartilage Treatment-surgical Decompression with laminotomy, foraminotomy, total diskectomy via bilateral laminotomy followed by interbody fusion