This site is intended for healthcare professionals

Go to /sign-in page

You can view 5 more pages before signing in

Prolapsed cervical disc

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Prolapsed cervical disc may be precipitated by local strain or injury - often linked to unguarded flexion and rotation. There is usually a predisposing abnormality of the disc with increased nuclear tension.

Cervical radiculopathy is a clinical condition caused by the compression of the cervical nerve roots.

  • patients may complain of pain, sensory deficits, motor deficits, diminished reflexes, or any combination of the symptoms (1).

The annual incidence is reported to be 107 per 100,000 men, and 64 per 100,000 women, and incidence seems to peak during the 4th and 5th decades of life (2)

Several risk factors have been identified:

  • white ethnicity
  • cigarette smoking
  • prior lumbar radiculopathy
  • other proposed risk factors include:
    • lifting heaving objects
    • frequent diving from height
    • driving or using vibrating equipment
    • playing golf (2)

The condition is caused by compression of the nerve root. Cervical nerve roots may be compressed by:

  • herniated nucleus pulposus - in 25% of patients

    • three main types of disk herniation have been described:

      • intra-foraminal - the most common type, resulting in predominantly sensory radicular symptoms

      • posterolateral - results in weakness and potentially muscle atrophy

      • midline - rare, resulting in symptoms of myelopathy such as upper extremity numbness, weakness, gait disturbance, ataxia, and urinary incontinence

    • The C7 root (C6-7 herniation) is the most commonly affected, followed by the C6 (C5-6 herniation) and C8 (C7-T1 herniation) nerve roots

  • foraminal encroachment/degenerative changes (cervical spondylosis) - in 75% of patients

    • spondylosis of uncovertebral joint's located anterior to the nerve root tends to affect the anterior aspect of the nerve root while facet joint arthritis affects the posterior aspect of the nerve root.
    • decreased disk height due to degenerative loss may also decrease the diameter of the foramen and cause nerve root impingement (1,2,3)

Reference:


Related pages

Create an account to add page annotations

Add information to this page that would be handy to have on hand during a consultation, such as a web address or phone number. This information will always be displayed when you visit this page

The content herein is provided for informational purposes and does not replace the need to apply professional clinical judgement when diagnosing or treating any medical condition. A licensed medical practitioner should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.

Connect

Copyright 2024 Oxbridge Solutions Limited, a subsidiary of OmniaMed Communications Limited. All rights reserved. Any distribution or duplication of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited. Oxbridge Solutions receives funding from advertising but maintains editorial independence.