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Intervertebral Disc Herniation

Although rare, acute cervical disc herniation can occur in collision sport athletes. Extrusion of the nucleus pulposus posteriorly can cause acute cord compression.

Unlike the more common lower lumbar disc herniations, cervical disc herniations can produce permanent cord injury. Posterior neck pain, paraspinal muscle spasm, and either transient or permanent acute paralysis are the most common symptoms. Radiating (radicular) pain or referred pain unilaterally down the shoulder and arm also may be present.

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