Spinal malignancies are an essential consideration when a patient presents to a chiropractic office with back pain. This single case report exemplifies the importance of patient presentation and physical examination findings. We must also consider the rationale for x-raying patients on an individual case basis. Textbook cases do not always exist and special diagnostic tests do not always provide a definitive diagnosis of underlying pathology. Even though history and examination findings suggest a routine diagnosis, continual re-evaluation and recognition of the need to change the diagnosis on occasion is extremely important. The patient should not only be thoroughly evaluated upon initial presentation, but also each time they present for treatment. The decision to x-ray a patient is considered important. X-ray examination can be used to confirm a diagnosis or to rule out potential pathologies, and not necessarily done as a routine screening procedure.
A case report is presented in which the pathologic signs were not evident on plain film x-rays upon initial presentation.
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