Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy presenting as mechanical neck pain: A case report

Have you got a dissertation or assignment lying around somewhere that you don’t know what to do with?

Ben Smith, Nottingham based MSK Physiotherapist, University of Nottingham Masters student and aspiring PhD applicant, has used his Masters degree studies as a springboard to publication.  His Advanced Practice (Neuromusculoskeletal) assignment has been written up as a case study, and was recently published in Manual Therapy. Ben’s paper is a great example of how to convert your academic writing into an ACTUAL PUBLICATION … and learn a little about the peer review process too.

The article “Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy presenting as mechanical neck pain: A case report” presents a 79 year old male, who complained of eight weeks of neck pain. He had been referred for physiotherapy by his family physician with a diagnosis of non-specific mechanical neck pain (NSMNP). Initial presentation was consistent with the referral, but further assessment revealed findings suggestive of Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy (CSM). The patient was referred for an urgent cervical MRI scan, which revealed myelomalacic changes at C3/4 due to spondylotic changes.  The patient was unsuitable for manual therapy intervention and was referred to a spinal orthopaedic surgeon who performed a posterior decompression and stabilisation at C3–C5, 2 months after the initial presentation.  This case report highlights the importance of considering CSM in adults over 55 years of age presenting with NSMNP.

Ben’s specialist interest is integrating evidence into practice, particularly with spines and knees, and can be followed on Twitter @benedsmith and recently wrote an evidenced based blog looking at the use of core stability exercises for chronic low back pain.

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