A research article published on April 21, 2010 in the journal, Chiropractic & Osteopathy from Melbourne Australia, looked at the safety of chiropractic care for patients who had previously had disc replacement surgery.
The study notes that spinal disc replacement surgery is becoming more popular. They also report that after such surgery it is common for patients to experience soreness and stiffness of the lumbopelvic region. Many of these people then turn to chiropractic care in the hopes of improvement from these post surgical problems. This study was designed to look at the safety of chiropractic care after the surgery.
This study looked at eight patients who underwent lumbar spine disc replacement, having 1 or 2 total lumbar disc replacements, and continued to have persistent, post-surgical, non-specific lower back or pelvic pain. These patients were referred for chiropractic by an orthopedic surgeon. All these patients were considered stable according to the surgical protocol.
For the purposes of this study, all eight patients were given from 8 to 10 chiropractic adjustments using one of the more forceful side posture lower back adjusting techniques. Safeguards were taken along with frequent examination procedures to make sure that no patients would be subject to any harm.
The results showed that none of the patients had severe or irreversible reactions after the spinal manipulations. There were several cases of moderate soreness after adjustments more common after the first few sessions. Most of these episodes were self limiting and short lived lasting only between hours to a few days. The researchers noted that most of these small reactions were similar to what the general population experiences after the same procedures.
In their conclusion the authors wrote, "During the short treatment period, no major complication was encountered by the patients. Moreover, the benign side-effects reported after lumbar spine manipulation were similar in nature and duration to those frequently experienced by the general population."