Daisuke Tsunoda, Haku Iizuka, Yoichi Iizuka, Masahiro Nishinome, Kenji Takagishi

May 2014, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 218 - 221 Case Report Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-013-3038-4

First Online: 23 September 2013


This report presents a case of wrist drop and muscle weakness of the fingers as a false localizing sign induced by stenosis of the upper cervical spine caused by a bony anomaly.


A 77-year-old male complained of severe muscle weakness of the right hand. Cervical spine MRI showed a severe and sharp compression of the spinal cord from the dorsal side between C2 and C3 with intramedullary intensity changes and mild stenosis at C3/4 and C4/5.


The patient underwent laminectomy of C2, cranial side laminotomy of C3, and laminectomy of C4. Decompression of the spinal cord was demonstrated 1 year after surgery. The patient achieved full recovery of the muscle weakness 1 year after undergoing surgery.


The pathophysiology of false localizing signs remains controversial; however, we believe that this unusual compression pattern and level had the possibility to induce atypical myelopathies such as drop hand and finger of the unilateral hand in this case.

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