Allodynia in Cervical Polyradiculopathy Due to Low-voltage Electrical Burn Injury: A Case Report
Neuropathic pain has been described following an electrical injury, whether as an immediate response or a late-onset sequela. There is much information on high-voltage injuries in literature due to its dramatic presentation, but limited studies on low-voltage injuries. However, low-voltage injuries can be as diverse and may have symptoms varying from minimal cutaneous involvement to full-thickness injury. Significant injuries may result from multiple factors, including prolonged duration of exposure and a higher amount of current transmitted.
We illustrate an atypical presentation of a low-voltage injury in a 17-year-old female. The patient had a low voltage electrical injury with no cutaneous burn noted on the affected extremity. She initially presented with allodynia, which seemed disproportionate to the clinical findings expected in a low-voltage injury. The patient underwent an electrodiagnostic study, which showed cervical polyradiculopathy (C5, C6, C7 polyradiculopathy) and neuromusculoskeletal ultrasonology, which showed enlarged right C5 nerve root. Medical management, daily physical and occupational therapies, and psychological management, were instituted, which resulted in significant improvement of the patient’s pain level and functional status.
We describe the importance of the multimodal approach (medical and rehabilitation) in managing this atypical case.