Clinical Features: A 24-year-old male sought consultation with his primary care physician for neck pain. The patient was then referred for cervical radiography and for chiropractic evaluation and treatment. An osseous lesion was noted arising from the C4 vertebra. Osteochondroma was suspected; however, chondrosarcoma could not be ruled out. After orthopedic consultation, osteochondroma was the confirmed diagnosis with the lesion likely incidental to the chief complaint.
Intervention and Outcome: The patient underwent 12 chiropractic treatments for 8 weeks including thoracic and cervical high-velocity, low-amplitude spinal manipulation, interferential current, therapeutic ultrasound, stretching, and therapeutic exercise of the paraspinal musculature. Reevaluation revealed the patient experienced no pain with occupational duties, activities of daily living, and improved sleep quality. He was discharged with a home stretching and strengthening regimen targeting the thoracic and cervical paraspinal musculature. Follow-up at 6 months revealed no return of symptoms.
Conclusion: We described the first case of an osteochondroma arising from the anterior aspect of the C4 vertebral body. The clinical evaluation, differential diagnosis, imaging workup, and treatment are addressed. This case also demonstrates that an asymptomatic osteochondroma of the cervical spine may be a relative, not an absolute, contraindication for high-velocity, low-amplitude spinal manipulation.
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