@lijingliangmma has been pulled from his upcoming contest against Michael Chiesa at #ufc287

@lijingliangmma has been pulled from his upcoming contest against Michael Chiesa at #ufc287 . The fan favorite fighter unfortunately sustained a neck injury while grappling during training camp.β €
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πŸ’₯ Li’s cervical spine MRI shows some narrowing of the spinal canal caused by herniation of the intervertebral disc between the C5 and C6 vertebrae. At this level, there would be C6 nerve root compression if the disc causes neural foramen narrowing as well. The term for this is cervical radiculopathy, and symptoms are typically seen on one side of the body. Li also has prior narrowing at C6-7 which had symptomatically improved on its own.β €
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πŸ’₯ With this injury, Li would experience excruciating pain in his neck radiating down into the shoulder, upper back, and chest on the affected side. Pain can be aggravated by neck rotation, lifting, and even coughing. There can also be arm numbness and weakness. β €
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πŸ’₯ Of note, Li’s strength testing revealed weakness in right elbow flexion when his thumb was pointed up. This specific positioning tests the strength of the brachioradialis, a muscle innervated mainly by the C6 nerve root, as opposed to the biceps brachii which has more C5 supply. Goes to show the importance of detailed physical exams.β €
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πŸ’₯ Herniated discs can resorb on their own, so conservative management would be the plan for now. Li would need to avoid any aggravating activities for the next 4-6 weeks. Light home exercises and physical therapy may help. Medications which can help with symptoms include oral steroids, NSAIDs, and neuropathic pain agents like gabapentin. Li may be a candidate for a cervical epidural steroid injection if his arm and shoulder symptoms still fail to improve. β €
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πŸ’₯ Surgery would be the final option if radicular pain remains unrelieved and/or if concerning symptoms arise such as new bowel or bladder changes, groin numbness, leg weakness, or gait impairments.β €
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πŸ’₯ Fortunately, it seems that Li’s symptoms are already starting to improve. His arm numbness is resolving and he can now turn his neck with less pain. Best wishes to him for a full recovery.

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Written by PinkPanther

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