How does cervical radiculopathy occur in athletes?

Updated: Oct 08, 2018
  • Author: Gerard A Malanga, MD; Chief Editor: Sherwin SW Ho, MD  more...
  • Print
Answer

Cervical radiculopathy in athletes can occur from several mechanisms. These injuries can occur from an extension, lateral bending, or rotation mechanism, which closes the neural foramen and results in ipsilateral nerve root injury. Conversely, a traction injury can occur with a sudden flexion or extension, coupled with lateral bending away from the affected nerve root.

Additionally, cervical disc herniations can occur with a sudden load with the neck in either flexion or extension. In elderly persons with osteophyte formation, repetitive neck extension and rotation in certain sports, such as swimming or tennis, may result in a more insidious injury.


Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!