X-ray analysis has historically been the assessment of choice for analyzing the occipito-atlanto-axial subluxation complex. There are also several quick non-radiographic methods that are used clinically to test for atlas subluxation, such as leg checks, palpation and thermography. If non-radiographic methods can be found that accurately predict atlas misalignment, they might provide a safer alternative for routine screening of patients. Although non-radiographic methods are reputed to be accurate measures of upper cervical subluxation, a thorough investigation into the agreement between methods has yet to be done.
This retrospective study was carried out to assess the level of agreement between the Grostic Procedure of upper cervical x-ray analysis and six other methods of assessing upper cervical subluxation. Patient information in this study was derived from the files of a doctor of chiropractic in private practice. Clinical findings were recorded in a specially designed computerized database. The database was then queried to construct agreement tables for the various assessments. The Kappa statistic was calculated and used as an indication of agreement.
The data presented in this retrospective study shows that there is a poor correlation between upper cervical x-ray analysis and the other analyses presented. The results suggest that while non-radiographic methods might be useful as pre- and post-adjustment screening checks, they should not be relied on to provide misalignment listings for adjustment.
Author Keywords: occipito-atlanto-axial subluxation complex, Grostic Procedure, adjustment, computerized database.
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