Radiology Review

Left Arm Pain, Numbness, and Weakness

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A 40-year-old woman presents to the urgent care clinic complaining of left arm pain with associated numbness and weakness.

A radiograph of the left shoulder is obtained. What is your impression?


A 40-year-old woman presents to the urgent care clinic complaining of left arm pain with associated numbness and weakness. She denies any injury or trauma, adding that the pain manifested several months ago but has recently progressed. She has already undergone outpatient MRI of her neck; she was told she had some “herniated discs” and would need to see a specialist. Her medical history is significant for hypertension. On physical examination, the patient appears uncomfortable but in no obvious distress. Vital signs are normal. Tenderness is present at the left trapezius and the left shoulder. Mild weakness is present in the left arm; strength is 4/5 and grip strength, 3/5. Pulses are normal, and sensation is intact. Available medical records include a report from her recent MRI of the cervical spine. Findings include a moderate left-sided disc osteophyte at the C6-C7 level and resultant cervical stenosis. A radiograph of the left shoulder is obtained. What is your impression?


 

References

ANSWER
The radiograph shows no evidence of a fracture. However, there is a 2-cm focal sclerotic area noted within the juncture of the humeral neck and head. This finding could represent an enchondroma, a bone cyst, or a bone infarct. Additional imaging, including MRI and bone scan, is warranted, as is orthopedic evaluation. This finding is likely incidental, as the patient’s clinical exam is suggestive of a cervical radiculitis referable to the herniated disc in her neck.

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