CLINICAL FEATURES: A 45-year-old man had a frozen shoulder and headaches. Previous arm pain, numbness, and a cold extremity were the result of occlusion of the subclavian artery and had been treated with a subclavian-carotid bypass procedure.
INTERVENTION AND OUTCOME: As a result of the angiographic detection of the left vertebral artery dilatation and tortuosity and the concomitant hypoplastic right vertebral artery, high-velocity, low-amplitude manipulation of the cervical spine was contraindicated. However, the patient's symptoms were not related to these findings. Alternatively, low-force manipulation of the cervical spine, shoulder range of motion and muscle techniques were used, and the patient's symptoms diminished significantly with improved shoulder range of motion.
CONCLUSION: Clinicians need to be alert to clinical presentations and appropriate imaging protocols in cases of suggested vertebral artery anomaly.
Click on the above link for the PubMed record for this case report; full text by subscription.