Index to Chiropractic Literature
Index to Chiropractic Literature
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ID 18110
  Title Long-standing axis odontoid fracture in patient presenting with acute low back pain [case report]
Journal Clin Chiropr. 2005 Jun;8(2):81-92
Peer Review Yes
Publication Type Case Report
Abstract/Notes Objective: To present the case of a patient affending for chiropractic care with acute low back pain. Incidentally, a previously unknown long-standing axis odontoid fracture was diagnosed, which resulted in a referral for neurosurgical management.

Clinical features: A 63-year-old man presented for chiropractic care with a chief complaint of severe acute low back pain. His examination revealed evidence of lumbar and upper cervical subluxations. Subsequent X-rays revealed a double rotatory lumbar scoliosis and an axis odontoid fracture at its base. A cervical flexion X-ray revealed instability and a later computed tomography confirmed the fracture.

Intervention and outcome: Due to poor patient compliance, a neurosurgical consultation and subsequent upper cervical arthrodesis did not take place until over 4 months after the initial diagnosis. A Brooks C1-C2 posterior fusion using Songer cables and an iliac crest bone graft resulted in a successful outcome. Prior to surgery, the patient's low back pain was managed by the chiropractor with a successful outcome.

Conclusion: This case presents a rare, yet precarious situation with the chiropractic management of a patient with a potentially catastrophic condition. This clinical example also stresses the importance of careful clinical assessment and imaging procedures for patients before providing spinal adjustments in order to avoid a potential iatrogenic incident. This case report also demonstrates the successful outcome of specific chiropractic care in the amelioration of acute low back pain.

This abstract is reproduced with the permission of the publisher; full text by subscription. Click on the above link for the journal record.

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