Clinical assessment techniques for detecting ligament and membrane injuries in the upper cervical spine region—A comparison with MRI results

Bertel Rune Kaale, Jostein Krakenes, Grethe Albrektsen, Knut Wester

This study examined whether results from a clinical test of passive mobility of soft tissue structures in the upper cervical spine, corresponded with signs of physical injuries, as judged by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The structures considered were the alar and the transverse ligaments, and the tectorial and the posterior atlanto-occipital membranes in 122 subjects with WAD. The results for the membranes appeared somewhat better than for the ligaments. When there was disagreement, the classifications obtained by the clinical test were significantly lower than the MRI grading, but mainly within one grade difference. When combining grade 0–1 (normal) and 2–3 (abnormal), the agreement improved considerably.

Although results from the clinical test seem to be slightly more conservative than the MRI assessment, a clinical test can serve as valuable clinical tool in the assessment of WAD patients.

Manual Therapy, 13(5), 397-403

Link to Abstract

Sensorimotor Impairment in Neck Pain

Join Chris Worsfold in this short online course to learn about the evaluation and rehabilitation of sensorimotor impairment in patients with neck pain.