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J Can Chiropr Assoc. 2014 Mar;58(1):16-23.

Detection of syringomyelia in a pediatric patient with mild scoliosis: a case report.

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Clinical Sciences Resident, Graduate Studies, Clinical Sciences, CMCC.
Research Associate, UOIT-CMCC Centre for the Study of Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation, University of Ontario Institute of Technology and CMCC ; Tutor, Undergraduate Education, CMCC.
Director, Graduate Studies, CMCC.


in English, French

It can be challenging to detect syringomyelia in patients with scoliosis, as some cases are mildly symptomatic with little to no neurological deficits. However, a timely diagnosis of syringomyelia is needed to facilitate important treatment considerations. This case report details an 11-year-old female with mild scoliosis and a two-year history of spinal pain that had short-term symptomatic relief from chiropractic treatment. Subtle neurological signs were detected only at re-evaluation, which prompted further investigation with radiographs and subsequent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRI revealed a non-expansile syrinx measuring 3 mm at its widest diameter that extended from C5 to the conus medullaris. The aim of this case is to heighten awareness of the potential diagnostic challenges in patients with syringomyelia and scoliosis. The incidence, pathogenesis, clinical presentation, and management of syringomyelia will be presented to help primary contact providers with appropriate referral and co-management of these patients.


chiropractic; conservative management; diagnosis; scoliosis; syringomyelia; syrinx


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