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Median and Ulnar Neuropathies in University Cellists

Ellie Jo Logue, Susana Bluhm, Mary Clayton Johnson, Rayna Mazer, John S. Halle, David G. Greathouse
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 20 Number 2: Page 70 (June 2005)

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Abstract: Peripheral nerve entrapment syndromes of the upper extremities are well documented in musicians. Bowed string players are at risk for entrapment neuropathies in the upper extremities and are sensitive to mild neurologic deficits. The purpose of this study was to determine the presence of median and ulnar neuropathies in both upper extremities of university cellists. Fourteen volunteer cellists (ages 18-32 yrs) were recruited from the Belmont University School of Music and the Vanderbilt University Blair School of Music orchestras. Subjects completed a history form, were interviewed, and underwent a physical examination. Nerve conduction status of the median and ulnar nerves of both upper extremities was obtained by performing sensory, motor, and F-wave nerve conduction studies. After completion of the median and ulnar nerve conduction studies, the cellists were instructed in upper extremity injury prevention exercises. Descriptive statistics of the nerve conduction study variables were computed using Microsoft Excel. These subjects had normal upper extremity neural and musculoskeletal function based on extensive evaluation, including a history, physical examination, and nerve conduction studies. There was no evidence of median or ulnar neuropathy at or distal to the wrist, in the forearm, across the elbow, or in the arm of the tested subjects.

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