Walking Quadriplegic: Cervical Myelopathy in an Ambulating Combat Support Soldier


Treyster DA, Riordan R, Rotello EN, Falcon J, Charny G 22(3). 86 - 89 (Journal Article)

We discuss a case of a 27-year-old male Soldier who presented with acute to subacute vague radicular complaints, which were atypical for and out of proportion to the imaging findings. Imaging demonstrated compressive cervical myelopathy at the levels of C3/C4 and C4/C5. Paradoxically, the patient's history revealed a remote nerve root compression, not cord compression, at the same levels. Identification and prompt surgical management led to the reversal of significant neurologic deficits that were present preoperatively. This case highlights the difficulty of identifying this rare condition among a plethora of otherwise benign and common cervical spondyloses seen in the Special Operations population. This study aims to bring to light the subtle history and physical characteristics that can assist Special Operations healthcare providers in making an otherwise elusive diagnosis. Last, it highlights a utility to documenting baseline spinal exam findings for the force to better identify subtle injuries.

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