Cervical pneumatocyst: Case report

Jason M. Hoover, Doris E. Wenger, Laurence J. Eckel, William E. Krauss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The authors present the case of a 56-year-old right hand-dominant woman who was referred for chronic neck pain and a second opinion regarding a cervical lesion. The patient's pain was localized to the subaxial spine in the midline. She reported a subjective sense of intermittent left arm weakness manifesting as difficulty manipulating small objects with her hands and fingers. She also reported paresthesias and numbness in the left hand. Physical and neurological examinations demonstrated no abnormal findings except for a positive Tinel sign over the left median nerve at the wrist. Electromyography demonstrated bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome with no cervical radiculopathy. Cervical spine imaging demonstrated multilevel degenerative disc disease and a pneumatocyst of the C-5 vertebral body. The alignment of the cervical spine was normal. A review of the patient's cervical imaging studies obtained in 1995, 2007, 2008, and 2010 demonstrated that the pneumatocyst was not present in 1995 but was present in 2007. The lesion had not changed in appearance since 2007. At an outside institution, multilevel fusion of the cervical spine was recommended to treat the pneumatocyst prior to evaluation at the authors' institution. The authors, however, did not think that the pneumatocyst was the cause of the patient's neck pain, and cervical pneumatocysts typically have a benign course. As such, the authors recommended conservative management and repeated MR imaging in 6 months. Splinting was used to treat the patient's carpal tunnel syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)332-335
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery: Spine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • Benign
  • Cervical spine
  • Intraosseous
  • Pneumatocyst

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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