Myelopathy hand. New clinical signs of cervical cord damage

J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1987 Mar;69(2):215-9. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.69B2.3818752.


A characteristic dysfunction of the hand has been observed in various cervical spinal disorders when there is involvement of the spinal cord. There is loss of power of adduction and extension of the ulnar two or three fingers and an inability to grip and release rapidly with these fingers. These changes have been termed "myelopathy hand" and appear to be due to pyramidal tract involvement. The characteristic nature of the signs permit the distinction between myelopathy and changes due to nerve root or peripheral nerve disorder. The clinical significance of these signs has been assessed against other tests and their value in management is discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Fingers / physiopathology
  • Hand* / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Movement
  • Muscle Spasticity / diagnosis
  • Muscle Spasticity / etiology
  • Muscle Spasticity / physiopathology
  • Muscular Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Muscular Diseases / etiology
  • Muscular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Paralysis / diagnosis
  • Paralysis / etiology
  • Paralysis / physiopathology
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / complications
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / physiopathology