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Cervical spine issues

I recently received a report from an x-ray I had done--the report was from a chiropractor who specializes in radiology. In the report, he said that he could not rule out rotational subluxation at C5 and that I have rotational malposition from C2 through C5. I brought the report to my spine orthopedist who immediately poo pood the report because the guy who did it was a chiropractic radiologist. He said, "You do NOT have a subluxation. If you did it would be a medical emergency." He also said that there is a big difference between medical and chiropractic terminology. So, first of all, who do I believe? Second, if it is a chiropractic term and not medical, how serious is it? My symptoms are as follows: Headaches in the back and top of the head, bad neck pain, bad left trapezius pain and spasm, left shoulder, tricep and forearm pain (dull), and the right tricep burns. I have burning in my right leg as well but I don't have low back problems. I did have cervical surgery a year ago. My pain is horrible now, though it was much better for a time after surgery. I am completely miserable, I am having a hard time concentrating...other than that I am fine lol.
SOS! All advice accepted!


  • Howdy NeckOuchie,

    Did the Ortho see the x-ray(s)? Did he give you the reason *he* feels what your chiro stated was untrue? I have seen "real doctors" poo-poo a chiro as they don't believe in them. Mine knew before my first cervical MRI that I had a herniated disk! They are schooled heavily, almost as much as an "MD."

    Did the ortho do any kind of exam or more x-rays to see if "he" sees anything, or is he going to get you an MRI? Sorry for the questions. Just trying to get a better picture of who knows what as to why such an abrupt answer was given to you by the Ortho/Spine doctor. Take care, sorry you are hurting!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Thanks for your feedback. No MRI was ordered (I had one last July), but my primary referred me back to my surgeon and to pain management. The chiropractor said, "Don't believe the report because the chiropractor has probably never seen the inside of an OR before." The surgeon did not order an MRI either because he thinks, as he has told me before, that C6 is giving me trouble (it is almost bone on bone and there's a herniation and bone spur there). I have a feeling that the surgeon did not order the MRI or more x-rays because the previous x-ray was taken at the surgeon's office and he said it looked "okay." Perhaps he is "saving face" or worried I will take it to the chiropractor again for a second opinion? After seeing me and reading the report, the surgeon did order a cervical epidural injection.
  • My "Hummmm" is due to the statement of "hasn't seen the inside of an OR.." And that makes a difference because? (G) Unfortunately, there are still doctors (fine doctors, don't get me wrong of course) that think Chiropractors are "Voodoo" doctors! As I mentioned, my Chiropractor knew something was wrong in my neck, sent me for an MRI. When the report came back that the disk was "abutting the cord", he immediately referred me to a Neurologist, and then from the the Neuro sent me to a Neurosurgeon.

    Here's a couple of things you might want to consider if you haven't already. I mention these because *our* bodies seem to KNOW when something is wrong, and unfortunately, we have to sometimes convince a doctor or doctors to look us over, or test us to prove or disprove this. So far with me, my body has been straight on!

    1. Possibly going back to your GP and see if he/she can send you for a new MRI - a lot can happen between now and last July!

    2. If you are having strength or sensitivity issues, possibly getting an nerve study done? NCV/EMG to see what the nerves tell. For me, when it comes to the needle study (the EMG), I insist on the Neurologist doing it - has been more consistent for me!

    3. X-Rays... I have found that most times if they are taken in the doctors office, they aren't as clear or of as good a quality as a dedicated X-Ray facility (private or hospital). I had some "in office" X-Rays back in December, and when I compare them to my post op ones taken at a local hospital, they were night and day! Also, were they taken with your neck under extension/flexation and straight? Front view? X-Rays are great for looking at spacing between the bones, seeing bone spurs, curvature of your neck (Lordosis), alignment. They aren't much good for soft tissue and disk issues.

    4. Of course you probably saw this coming - possibly getting with a Neurologist (I call them the trouble shooters) for a full work up and exam. Then if there is something, see about getting referred to a different surgeon. If there are issues, I would take the Chiropractor out of the equation at this stage.

    Please let us know what you decide, how it goes, and how you fare with all this! Take care. Support *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Thanks so much for your input. I pray that the epidural is approved...and soon. I can't think and sometimes the pain is so bad I don't want to eat...it literally makes me nauseated. Anyway, I didn't realize there was so much variation in quality of x-rays. All they did was an AP and lateral view...no flexion/extension. I think you are right that it is time for another MRI. Thanks again!
  • Laura,

    You're very welcome! Flex/Extension is a big help to see what is going on under load with your spine. It is amazing what they can see with them! For the MRI, we have a "positional" MRI about an hour from where I live (Homestead, FL), and I go there so they have my back/neck under load and extended and flexed back. A lot of stuff if missed in a 'recumbent' MRI. Some think the images aren't as clear or sharp - my doctor doesn't see any reduction in quality. Please keep us posted on how it goes!! *hug*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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