CASE PRESENTATION: A 30-year old male front row Australian rugby league player presented complaining of neck pain after a hyperflexion and compressive injury during a game. Repeated trauma over a four month period resulted in radicular pain. Radiographs revealed decreased disc height at the C5-C6 and C6-C7 levels and mild calcification within the anterior longitudinal ligament at the C6-C7 level. MRI revealed a right postero-lateral disc protrusion at the C6-C7 level causing a C7 nerve root compression.
CONCLUSION: Recommendations from the available literature at the present time suggest that conservative management of cervical discogenic pain and disc protrusion, including chiropractic manipulation and ancillary therapies, can be successful in the absence of progressive neurological deficit. The current case highlights the initial successful management of a football athlete, and the later unsuccessful management. This case highlights the issues involvement in the management of a collision sport athlete with a serious neck injury.
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