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Other A memorable patient

A late diagnosis

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: (Published 11 August 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:386
  1. William Mason, specialist registrar (
  1. department of orthopaedics and trauma, Royal Hampshire County Hospital, Bournemouth

    An 82 year old man was taken to casualty after being in a car crash. He had a fractured sternum but had no neck pain, and his cervical spine was cleared clinically. Over the next few days, however, he developed neck discomfort, mild weakness of his right hand, and intermittent paraesthesiae of his fingers. He mentioned these symptoms several weeks later in a follow-up clinic for the sternal fracture. Examination revealed kyphosis of the lower cervical spine, no tenderness, and a …

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