Adam Sergent Scott Self Matthew Richardson


Objective: To describe diagnosis and management of a 30-year-old Mixed Martial Arts fighter who experienced a hyper-extension injury to the cervical spine resulting in contusion of his spinal cord.


Clinical Features: A 30-year-old man was struck in the face, causing his head and neck to be forced into extreme extension. He presented with swollen hands that were hypersensitive to touch, cold, air, and temperature. Muscles in his forearm and hand were in spasm, with inability to extend his fingers.


Intervention and Outcome: He was initially examined at the clinic and cervical spine radiographs were taken and interpreted as negative for fracture. An MRI of the cervical spine was ordered due to the neurologic presentation. It showed findings consistent with spinal cord contusion.  The patient was referred to a neurosurgeon for further evaluation and management. Over a 3-week period his symptoms started to decrease; however, at the time of this reporting he remains a candidate for cervical surgery.


Conclusion: The patient was referred to a neurosurgeon and no chiropractic manipulation was rendered. A doctor of chiropractor served as a primary provider in the patients care and management by recognizing the signs and symptoms of a cervical cord injury and through the implementation of appropriate follow-up care, including advanced imaging and consultation with a neurosurgeon.