Objective: The purpose of this retrospective case report was to describe chiropractic management of a patient with failed back surgery syndrome.
Clinical Features: A 45-year-old woman presented 2 years after L4-L5 and L5-S1 fusion surgery with low back and sciatic pain. Her physical exam included a positive straight leg raise and diminished lower-extremity reflexes and muscle strength. The patient’s magnetic resonance imaging showed right disc bulging and annular tearing at L2-L3 and L3-L4 disc bulging with foraminal impingement.
Intervention and Outcome: A total of 52 treatments were provided over 28 weeks consisting of multidirectional functional decompression (FD) unweighted gait training, core exercises while in FD, strengthening exercises on a vibration platform, and supine spinal FD with vibration and chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy. Over the course of treatment, the patient noted gradual improvement in function (Oswestry Disability Index) and pain (Numeric Rating Scale), with a reduction in pain medications. Follow-up of 41 months posttreatment revealed an Oswestry Disability Index score of 0 and Numeric Rating Scale score of 0, and the patient no longer was using any pain medication.
Conclusion: After a course of care, the patient in this study reported resolution of symptoms, decrease in pain medications, and improvement of function.
Author keywords: Low Back Pain; Failed Back Surgery Syndrome
Author affiliations: GFM: School of Biological and Population Health Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon; GFM, VS, MNP: Illinois Back Institute, Wheaton, Illinois; KA: Clinical Sciences, National University of Health Sciences, Lombard, Illinois
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