Evaluation of Athletes with Neck or Arm Pain

  • Michael H. McCarthy
  • Joseph A. Weiner
  • Todd J. Albert


The symptoms of cervical spine and upper extremity injuries often overlap, which requires providers to distinguish between the two in order to accurately diagnose. Differentiating between the two involves a strong understanding of the neurologic exam, peripheral exam findings, and myotomal/dermatomal findings correlative to cervical spine levels. The most common dilemma encountered by providers assessing athletes with neck and arm pain is differentiating radicular symptoms from cervical pathology and musculoskeletal injuries. The diagnostic challenge is addressed by formulating a broad differential diagnosis and utilizing the physical exam and history to achieve a correct diagnosis.


Cervical Athlete Physical exam Neck pain Radiculopathy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael H. McCarthy
    • 1
  • Joseph A. Weiner
    • 1
  • Todd J. Albert
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryNorthwestern Memorial HospitalChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Hospital for Special SurgeryNew YorkUSA

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