Journal Article
Review
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A clinical review of hand manifestations of cervical myelopathy, cervical radiculopathy, radial, ulnar, and median nerve neuropathies.

Cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) is defined as compression of the spinal cord in the neck, resulting in problems with fine motor skills, hand numbness, pain or stiffness of the neck, and difficulty walking due to loss of balance. Brachial plexus (BP) neuropathies arise due to compression to any distal branches arising from C5-T1, whereas cervical radiculopathy involves compression at the nerve root in the neck. Such conditions can present with variable degrees of musculoskeletal pain, weakness, sensory changes, and reflex changes. The pronounced convergence in symptomatic manifestation within these conditions can pose a formidable challenge to clinicians, particularly in primary care. Thus, the primary objective of this paper is to enhance clarity and distinction among these pathological conditions. This objective is pursued through comprehensive delineation of the dermatomal and myotomal distributions characteristic of each condition. Furthermore, a meticulous examination is undertaken to elucidate physical indicators and maneuvers that exhibit a notably high sensitivity in detecting these conditions. Accurate diagnosis and treatment of each nerve pathology is important as long-term spinal cord compression and its roots may result in permanent disability and severely impact one's quality of life. As such, this systematic review serves as a guide that aids clinicians in differentiating the aforementioned conditions based on anatomy, physical exam findings, and imaging studies. Furthermore, this study aims to outline common peripheral nerve neuropathies in the upper extremities and ways to mitigate these pathologies using the least to most invasive treatment modalities.

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