The authors of a recent paper stated that cerebellar and spinal cord injuries related to cervical chiropractic manipulation were first reported in 1947. By 1974, there were 12 reported cases. Non-invasive imaging has since greatly improved the diagnosis of cervical artery dissection and of stroke, and cervical artery dissection is now recognized as pathogenic of strokes occurring in association with chiropractic manipulation.
The purpose of their study was to determine the frequency of patients seen at a single institution who were diagnosed with a cervical vessel dissection related to chiropractic neck manipulation.
The authors identified cases through a retrospective chart review of patients seen between April 2008 and March 2012 who had a diagnosis of cervical artery dissection following a recent chiropractic manipulation. Relevant imaging studies were reviewed by a board-certified neuro-radiologist to confirm the findings of a cervical artery dissection and stroke. The authors also conducted telephone interviews with each patient to ascertain the presence of residual symptoms in the affected patients.
Of the 141 patients with cervical artery dissection, 12 had documented chiropractic neck manipulation prior to the onset of the symptoms that led to medical presentation. The 12 patients had a total of 16 cervical artery dissections. All 12 patients developed symptoms of acute stroke. All strokes were confirmed with magnetic resonance imaging or computerized tomography. Follow-up information could be obtained from 9 patients, 8 of whom had residual symptoms and one of whom died as a result of their injury. The tables below give the full details. [Click to enlarge.]
The authors concluded that in this case series, 12 patients with newly diagnosed cervical artery dissection(s) had recent chiropractic neck manipulation. Patients who are considering chiropractic cervical manipulation should be informed of the potential risk and be advised to seek immediate medical attention should they develop symptoms.
How many times have we on this blog issued similar warnings?
And how many times have chiropractors countered with denial?
This time will be no different, I am sure.
But sadly, repeating a lie many times does not turn it in to a truth.