decreased neck range of motion

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NewAmerica

Banned
Mandarin
Which is more proper in English: "decreased range of neck motion" or "decreased neck range of motion"?

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In early March, I was paged to evaluate a 13-month-old with a retropharyngeal neck abscess. She was a delightful child who had the misfortune of presenting to the hospital at the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis with fevers, upper respiratory symptoms, and decreased neck range of motion. Part of her workup included an influenza swab, and she was placed on appropriate precautions until the results returned.

Source: New England Journal of Medicine April 22, 2020

Waiting for Something Positive
 
  • Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    I suppose "decreased range of neck motion" sounds more logical. But this works too. "Neck" acts as an adjective for the noun phrase "range of motion". Not everything is always said perfectly grammatically.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    I find "decreased neck range of motion" decidedly odd. I expect "decreased range of neck motion". I wonder what a "decreased neck" is.
     

    Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    A decreased range of motion.
    What range of motion?
    Around the neck.
    A decreased neck range of motion.

    As I said, your suggestion is more logical, but I didn't find this particularly difficult to follow.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Yes, the abnormal version is understandable after an initial hesitation, but it's still abnormal. I didn't need to read it three times, but I certainly paused. But, of course, my understanding of what is abnormal probably comes from a career in which assessing and describing ranges of motion of anatomical structures was pretty much an everyday activity.
     
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