Severe Neck Problems After Unsuccessful Spinal
Surgery Helped With Chiropractic
In the September 2001 issue of the peer reviewed, "Journal of
Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics" comes a case report
"Chiropractic care of a patient with vertebral subluxations and
unsuccessful surgery of the cervical spine". This was a report
of a 55-year-old man who had neck pain along with radiating pain down both
arms after unsuccessful cervical (neck) spine surgery.
The man's history was similar to many seen in chiropractic offices.
While responding to an auto accident during an ice storm, the 55 year old
highway patrolman slipped getting out of his car and fell backward,
landing on his upper back and neck After a few days he began to
experience pain in his neck. Two months later he consulted a medical
doctor, who referred him to a neurologist. During the neurological
examination, the patient experienced a seizure that eventually led to a
diagnosis of a tumor of the adrenal gland. Several weeks later, the
patient had surgery to excise the tumor which resulted in temporary relief
of the neck pain.
He returned to work, and 6 weeks after surgery he began to experience
neck pain again, which he described as “sharp,” along with pain,
numbness, and tingling in both arms. His
condition worsened, for about 6 to 7 months, and he was was referred to a
neurosurgeon. The patient eventually consented to neck surgery, and
an anterior cervical diskectomy (disc removal) was performed.
When he returned to the surgeon for a postsurgery check-up and had
continuing complaints, he then asked when the surgeon wanted to see him
again. The reply was, “I never want to see you again.” This answer was
devastating for the patient, and he assumed that he was destined to live
with these problems for life.
Approximately 3˝ years after surgery, the patient started chiropractic
care. The chiropractic care began and after receiving the first set of
adjustments, the patient indicated that his ability to raise his left arm
had increased by 50% and that his neck pain and arm complaints were also
relieved. He was astonished and excited by the results of the care
he received. Within 2
weeks of starting care he was able to fully abduct his left arm and to
loop his belt to his pants. A year after the onset of chiropractic
care, the patient was working on his small ranch performing various odd
jobs and has, on occasion, had some problems because of over activity.
This documented and published case is not unfamiliar to chiropractors
world wide. The unique aspect of this case is the fact that it was
published in a peer reviewed scientific journal. The authors of the
study summed this situation up with the following; "This is the
first description in the indexed literature of the chiropractic care of a
patient with vertebral and sacroiliac subluxations with a history of
unsuccessful cervical diskectomy of the cervical spine. In our experience,
allopathic (medical) practitioners usually do not offer patients the
option of chiropractic care before surgery. Perhaps more rarely is
chiropractic care considered a viable option in instances of unsuccessful
surgical care." It is obvious from this study that chiropractic
should have been considered first.