Case 3: Motorcycle Accident

A 42 year old patient was brought into the office by his mother. The patient was an unfortunate victim of a severe motorcycle crash in which he was thrown over forty yards in the air. He awoke from a two month coma with his head fused to his chest. He was lucky to be alive, but had his chin fused to his chest in part due to metal pins installed in his neck because of the spinal cord swelling. 

He had lost the use of his arms with only random and intermittent muscle firing as the C4/5/6/7 had nearly fused together and blocked neurological function from damaged intervertebral foramen. The only treatment offered was an intensive multi part surgery involving cutting all the back muscles, breaking the fused vertebrae, inserting titanium rods to support his skull from constantly looking at the ground, and then re-attaching the back muscles. The fused vertebrae can be clearly seen in Figure 22. There are many complications and long term side effects from a procedure of this magnitude. Further, he was told the damage to the nerves leading to his arms was permanent. 

Not willing to risk his life to be simply fused in a different position, he sought other opinions. Most physicians offered no solutions or were not willing to attempt treatment due to possible further damage to the central nervous system. 

Nearly two years after the accident, he was referred to our office. 3D x-rays were taken and viewed. By having the information in all three planes, we were able to determine and start a treatment course. The added information gained from this technology allowed the gradual reversal of the trauma to the spine without the need for invasive procedures. It also enabled a greatly reduced fear of causing further damage to the central nervous system, enabling treatment to be performed that no other physicians would risk. 

The gradual recovery can be seen in Figure 23 and Figure 24. The patient had full use of his arms after six months of treatments (Figure 23). He ultimately regained a near normal range of motion (Figure 24). His mother was unable to hold back the tears. 3D x-ray images and Dr. Wade Rustici had given her son his life back.

fig 22

Figure 22 42 year old motorcycle accident patient with his neck fused to his chest.

fig 23

Figure 23 42 year old motorcycle patient after 6 months of treatment course determined using 3D x-ray images to view and analyze the information.

fig 24

Figure 24 Due to treatment course determined using 3-D x-ray images, patient regained nearly normal range of motion after 1 year of treatment.

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