Background: This paper describes a case of C7 radiculopathy in a professional rugby league player after repeated cervical spine trauma. The report outlines the management of the patient following an acute cervical hyperflexion injury with chiropractic manipulation and soft tissue therapies. It also presents a change in approach to include distractive techniques on presentation of a neurological deficit following re-injury. The clinical outcomes, while good, were very dependent upon the athlete restricting himself from further trauma during games, which is a challenge for a professional athlete. Case presentation: A 30-year old male front row Australian rugby league player presented complaining of neck pain after a hyperflexion and compressive injury during a game. Repeated trauma over a four month period resulted in radicular pain. Radiographs revealed decreased disc height at the C5-C6 and C6-C7 levels and mild calcification within the anterior longitudinal ligament at the C6-C7 level. MRI revealed a right postero-lateral disc protrusion at the C6-C7 level causing a C7 nerve root compression. Conclusion: Recommendations from the available literature at the present time suggest that conservative management of cervical discogenic pain and disc protrusion, including chiropractic manipulation and ancillary therapies, can be successful in the absence of progressive neurological deficit. The current case highlights the initial successful management of a football athlete, and the later unsuccessful management. This case highlights the issues involvement in the management of a collision sport athlete with a serious neck injury.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Chiropractic and osteopathy|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|