Compression Fracture with metal rod/titanium cage

by J.Jansen
(Pocahontas, AR)

Compression Fracture

Five and a half years ago, I was in a severe car accident that shattered my L1 vertebrae. I had surgery, where the pieces were removed and built with a titanium cage.

I also have a steel rod down my spine with four finger-size screws holding it in place. I've had severe pain since the accident, but recently, it seems to be worse.

On top of the injury, I've been having shoulder problems, which I think could be from a pinched nerve. SO my question is, with all of the metal in my back and the cage around my L1, is it safe for me to see a Chiropractor???






Hello Jessie,
How nice to have someone who takes the trouble to write in decent English! Zijn jullie Nederlanderen of Afrikaans? Or is Jansen just part of the great American melting pot?

Yes, it certainly is safe to see a chiropractor, but I would take care to find someone who is experienced, methodical and thorough, and who will give your case the time it deserves. Talk to friends and neighbours and perhaps your doctor.

L1 is the area where the Femoral nerve originates, passing down through the groin to the side and front of your leg. If you start to get groin pain, think L1 first. Type "Femoral nerve" into the Search this Site at C-h, you'll find quite a lot of material.

It's also the area that can set up a "Maignes syndrome", a facet syndrome from T12/L1.

Chiropractors have a number of gentle techniques that can be used in the treatment of old fractures. Heavy manipulation of L1 would obviouly be inadvisable, but it may well be that your pain is coming from elsewhere, say L4, in which very specific manipulation would not be unsafe.

Many shoulder problems we see in the practice come from an old injury of the neck. In a bad MVA it is not unlikely that your neck was affected.

You might start with "Maignes syndrome exercises" and "Frozen shoulder exercises" (again use the Search facillity at C-H), though the usual advice is examination first, diagnosis, and only then treatment. But they are quite gentle, done sensibly are unlikely to aggravate your problem.

Good luck, let me know in a few months how you get on.

Dr B




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