Sunday, June 18, 2017

Differentiating C8 radiculopathy from ulnar neuropathy

Hello. This is a very short post (because I am super busy studying)

It's on differentiating C8 radiculopathy from Ulnar neuropathy based on a question I solved the other day. How would you differentiate the two in clinical practice?

C8 radiculopathy:
- Thumb abduction weakness: abductor pollicis brevis (C8, T1)

- Triceps affected (C6, C7, C8)

- Radiculopathies are often painful.

Ulnar neuropathy:
- Hand intrinsics (C8, T1) affected:
Palmar and dorsal interossei
Lumbricals III & IV
Abductor/opponens/flexor digiti minimi

- Basically, all hand intrinsics except for the median-supplied "LOAF" muscles (lumbricals I & II, opponens/ abductor/flexor pollicis brevis)

- Triceps not affected.

- Focal neuropathies aren't painful.

Conclusion: The ulnar nerve innervates all intrinsic hand muscles, except the abductor and flexor pollicis brevis, opponens pollicis, and lateral two lumbricals, which are innervated by C8 and T1 via the median nerve which helps differentiating the ulnar neuropathy from C8 radiculopathy.

That's all!

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