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The dropped head
  1. Howan Leung,
  2. Andrew CF Hui,
  3. Richard Kay
  1. Howan Leung, Andrew CF Hui, Richard Kay Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, Prince of Wales Hospital, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong
  1. Correspondence to:
 Howan Leung, Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, Prince of Wales Hospital, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong;
 howanleung{at}hotmail.com

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The neck is divided into the anterior and posterior triangles by the sternocleidomastoid muscle, and smaller anatomical triangles have also been defined; surgeons find this approach useful in describing the location of a palpable mass. Examination of the neck can reveal a number of neurological and general medical disorders. Limitation in the range of movement may be caused by rheumatological conditions such as cervical and much less commonly ankylosing spondylitis. Other signs include abnormal jugular venous pulsation, Corrigan’s sign (aortic regurgitation), the webbed neck of Turner’s syndrome, the buffalo hump and supraclavicular fat pad of Cushing’s syndrome, and a short, thick neck which is associated with obstructive sleep apnoea. Palpation may demonstrate lympha-denopathy or a goitre, while auscultation may reveal carotid or subclavian bruits. As part of the examination of the cardiorespiratory system, the volume and character of the carotid pulse and the position of the trachea are of course routinely assessed.

When neurologists look at the neck, we usually find that muscle atrophy and …

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