Which physical findings are characteristic of cervical spondylosis?

Updated: Apr 23, 2020
  • Author: Hassan Ahmad Hassan Al-Shatoury, MD, PhD, MHPE; Chief Editor: Dean H Hommer, MD  more...
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Answer

Findings at physical examination may include the following:

  • Spurling sign - Radicular pain is exacerbated by extension and lateral bending of the neck toward the side of the lesion, causing additional foraminal compromise.

  • Lhermitte sign - This generalized electrical shock sensation is associated with neck flexion.

  • Hoffman sign - Reflex contraction of the thumb and index finger occurs in response to nipping of the middle finger. This sign is evidence of an upper motor neuron lesion. A Hoffman sign may be insignificant if present bilaterally.

  • Distal weakness

  • Decreased ROM in the cervical spine, especially with neck extension

  • Hand clumsiness

  • Loss of sensation

  • Increased reflexes in the lower extremities and in the upper extremities below the level of the lesion

  • A characteristically broad-based, stooped, and spastic gait

  • Extensor planter reflex in severe myelopathy


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