A case of bilateral “double/multiple crush” entrapment syndrome of the upper limbs in a violinist

Bogdan Alexandru Barbu 1 , Claudia-Mariana Handra 2 , Silviu Bădoiu 3 ,  and Sarah Adriana Nica 4
  • 1 Occupational Medicine, University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Carol Davila”, Bucharest, Romania
  • 2 Occupational Medicine, University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Carol Davila”, Bucharest, Romania
  • 3 Anatomy and Embryology, University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Carol Davila”, Bucharest, Romania
  • 4 Rehabilitation, Physical Medicine & Balneoclimatology Department, University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Carol Davila”Bucharest, Romania

Abstract

Entrapment syndromes of the upper limb are common neuro-muscular-skeletal pathology in musician instrumentists. From this group of morbid entities, the most prevalent worldwide is carpal tunnel syndrome closely followed by the cubital tunnel syndrome and de Quervain stenosing tenosynovitis. Due to their distinctive etiopathogenic correlation with exposure to specific occupational factors linked to instrument interpretation and professional environment, these diseases raise a medical challenge and constitute a socioeconomic and professional burden with legal branchings and implications for individuals and society. These syndromes develop isolated or more often in various associations with each other in a clinical pattern that has been described under the model of “double crush” syndrome by Upton and McComas. From its inception in 1973 until the present time, this clinical model has been a point of interesting debate between various specialists worldwide. This model underlines an already lesioned neuron’s susceptibility and vulnerability for further neural damage at a different level from the initial lesion. The sophisticated clinical presentation of this “double or multiple crush” syndrome is due not only to overlapping symptomatology from each contributing neuro-muscular-skeletal pathology or lesional site but also to other local or systemic conditions such as trauma, diabetes, osteoarthritis, thyroid disease, obesity, etc. The occupational factors such as repetitive movements, strain and overload, vibrations, ergonomics, and others all contribute to the creation and progression of the morbid process. We cannot overstate the implications of understanding these complex relations and interdependencies between the factors mentioned above as they are essential not only for the diagnosis of these neuropathies but also for the treatment, rehabilitation, and occupational reinsertion of the patients. The studies support the fact that both lesional sites need to be medically addressed for an optimal outcome and resolution. We present the case of a female violinist with bilateral multiple neuro-muscular-skeletal pathologies of the upper limb treated previously invasively and conservatively over several years by various specialists without a satisfactory clinical resolution of the symptomatology or any professional and legal measures taken.

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