Chiropractic neck manipulation causes stroke, heart attack, and paralysis in woman in her 20s

A recent college graduate in her 20s walked into a chiropractor for a neck adjustment. Within minutes of the treatment, she:

• Had a heart attack

• Had a stroke

• Was unconscious for 10 minutes, requiring cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)

• Was hauled out by on a gurney to an ambulance to be rushed to a hospital for emergency care

Chiropractic neck manipulations can cause deadly problems

How could this happen? The answer lies in understanding a little anatomy. Given the frequency of these tragic cases, I can’t help but wonder if chiropractic schools are focusing enough on this important topic.

For our purposes, though, we can keep it simple.

Vertebral and carotid arteries (sometimes collectively referred to as cervical arteries) run up the back of the neck on both sides. Because of their anatomic location, vertebral and carotid arteries can be dissected (torn or ripped open) by the sudden, high-speed blunt force of a chiropractic neck adjustment.

When this happens, there is a dramatic increase in the risk of clot or thrombus formation, which can lead to an ischemic stroke, cardiac arrest, permanent neurologic problems, and even death.

This woman in her 20s was one of the unfortunate patients who had all of these complications. Fortunately, the chiropractor recognized that something was terribly wrong and called 911. Sadly, the same chiropractor was the person who caused the patient’s severe injuries.

When the young woman was evaluated at a nearby hospital, they found that the chiropractic manipulation of her neck had damaged and dissected not one, not two, not three—but four cervical arteries in her neck.

She was taken to the operating room for vascular surgery to repair the damage. Unfortunately, she’s been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Although she’s awake and conscious, her body is paralyzed because of her chiropractic neck manipulation injury. She can only respond by blinking her eyes and wiggling her left toes.

Chiropractic medical malpractice

We understand that many people find pain and mobility relief from chiropractic care. As I see it, chiropractic manipulations may seem great right up until the moment they aren’t. In fact, that’s exactly how many of our clients have described their chiropractic experiences.

When a chiropractor uses excessive force for a cervical or neck manipulation, it may be medical negligence. If you’ve been seriously injured because of poor chiropractic care in Texas, then contact a top rated, experienced Texas medical malpractice lawyer for a free consultation about your potential case.

Robert Painter
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Robert Painter

Robert Painter is an award-winning medical malpractice attorney at Painter Law Firm Medical Malpractice Attorneys in Houston, Texas. He is a former hospital administrator who represents patients and family members in medical negligence and wrongful death lawsuits all over Texas. Contact him for a free consultation and strategy session by calling 281-580-8800 or emailing him right now.