Which Clinical Tests Should We Use for Assessing Cervical Radiculopathy?
- RRS Education
Which clinical tests do you utilize when assessing patients with suspected cervical radiculopathy (from a disc herniation, lateral canal stenosis etc.)?
Cervical radiculopathy describes radiating pain into the arm corresponding to a dermatomal pattern. Radiculopathy is, by definition, a neurological state characterized by limited or blocked nerve conduction and differentiated from radicular pain, wherein the compression can be caused by the cervical disc, degenerative changes or simple inflammation. Diagnosis of radiculopathy is based largely on the history and physical examination, which can then be confirmed through diagnostic imaging or even supported by surgical findings. A number of clinical tests, including those for deep tendon reflexes, muscle testing, evaluations for sensory deficits and provocative tests are all utilized to confirm the diagnosis suspected following patient history. The specific value and utility of different tests has been evaluated in a number of reviews; however, these reviews either did not critically appraise study quality, were narrative in nature or did not specifically address cervical radiculopathy. The purpose of this review (published in the The Spine Journal, 2018) was to update the available evidence on the utility of diagnostic tests for evaluating patients with cervical radiculopathy. The authors propose a battery of tests that have the best supporting literature for both ruling in, and ruling out, cervical radiculopathy…LOG IN OR SUBSCRIBE TO READ THE FULL REVIEW!