Roy Glenwood Spurling

Roy Glenwood Spurling (1894 – 1968)

Col. Roy Glenwood Spurling (1894 – 1968) was an American neurosurgeon.

Eponymously affiliated with Spurling manoeuvre or Spurling Test described in 1944 as a provocative test of the cervical spine in cervical radiculopathy


  • Born 6 September 1894, Missouri
  • 1944 – Senior Consultant in Neurosurgery in the Office of the Chief Surgeon, ETOUSA
  • Died 7 February 1968, California

Medical Eponyms

Spurling manoeuvre (Spurling’s Test) [1944]: highly specific provocative test of the cervical spine in cervical radiculopathy with low to moderate sensitivity

The most important diagnostic test and one that is almost pathognomic of a cervical intraspinal lesion is the neck compression test. Tilting the head and neck toward the painful side may be sufficient to reproduce the characteristic pain and radicular features of the lesion. Pressure on the top of the head in this position may greatly intesify the symptoms. Tilting the head away from the lesion usually gives relief.

Major Publications


  • Shields CB, Shields LB. R. Glen Spurling: surgeon, author, and neurosurgical visionary. JJ Neurosurg. 2002 Jun;96(6):1147-53. [PMID 12066921]
  • Davis L. Neurological Surgery. US Army Medical Department.
  • Park J et al. Diagnostic Accuracy of the Neck Tornado Test as a New Screening Test in Cervical Radiculopathy. Int J Med Sci. 2017 Jun 23;14(7):662-667 [PMC5562117]
  • Shabat S, Leitner Y, David R, Folman Y. The correlation between Spurling test and imaging studies in detecting cervical radiculopathy. J Neuroimaging. 2012 Oct;22(4):375-8 [PMID 21883627]

eponymictionary CTA 2


the person behind the name

BA MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM. Emergency physician, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.  Passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | Twitter |

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