OBJECTIVE: To describe the chiropractic care of a patient with a pelvic ring fracture and concomitant subluxations of multiple segments of the spinal column.
CLINICAL FEATURES: A 23-year-old male, after falling down a flight of stairs, was initially hospitalized for fractures of the pelvis. Five weeks posthospitalization, the patient initiated chiropractic care with complaints of severe low back pain with lower extremity involvement. He also complained of neck pain and occipital headache. The patient had several positive low back orthopedic tests with bilaterally absent Achilles deep tendon reflexes. The anteroposterior radiographic view revealed ununited fractures at the left superior and inferior pubic ramus, noted as a type I Malgaigne fracture. Subluxations were detected at the left innominate (ie, fracture-subluxation) and at the patient's lumbar, thoracic, and cervical spine.
INTERVENTION AND OUTCOME: The patient was cared for with contact-specific, high-velocity, low-amplitude adjustments to sites of vertebral and sacroiliac subluxations. The patient's response to care was positive, receiving great pain relief. Less than 3 months after initiating care, the patient returned to work on regular duty.
CONCLUSION: There are indications that patients suffering from the injuries described above may derive benefits from chiropractic care. The practitioner must pay careful attention to issues of biomechanical and vascular stability and adjustment modifications in these types of patients.
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