OBJECTIVE: To discuss the chiropractic management of a patient who sustained a unilateral lamina fracture of the sixth cervical vertebra.
CLINICAL FEATURES: The patient had suffered cervical trauma from a motor vehicle accident. Clinical evaluation revealed acute global neck pain with associated left arm radiculitis and approximately 75% loss of useful left-arm motor function. The patient also complained of headache and low back pain. Computerized tomography and radiographic findings indicated a left lamina fracture of the sixth cervical vertebra.
INTERVENTION AND OUTCOME: A rigid cervical collar was prescribed for the patient and specific-contact, short lever-arm, high-velocity, low-amplitude adjustments were applied at the levels of C2, C7 and L5, on different treatment visits, 11 days after trauma. The patient continued to wear the orthosis after each adjustment. The patient recovered from his injury and had no late biomechanical or neurological instability as a result of this management approach.
CONCLUSION: The chiropractic management of a patient who sustained a unilateral lamina fracture of C6 with concomitant subluxations at C2 and C7 is discussed. This case study is the second reported in the scientific literature in which conservative chiropractic methods were applied to a patient with a lamina fracture.
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