Physical Therapy Allows Teen With Recurrent Radiculopathy To Return To Sports
01.16.2019

Practice Case Report Published In the Journal Of Athletic Enhancement

A case report of a Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates patient was recently published in the Journal of Athletic Enhancement. The case illustrates how a high level adolescent athlete can recover from spondylolysis with a neurological deficit, and successfully return to noncontact sports without surgery. The case report was written by director of physical therapy services at Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates Graham Claytor, PT, MPT, SCS, CSCS, physiatrist David Wiercisiewski, MD, and neurosurgeon Vinay Deshmukh, MD, FACS. It describes a 15-year-old patient who experienced acute onset of left-sided foot drop after being tackled during a high school football game. The patient was diagnosed as having an acute, traumatic left-sided L5 radiculopathy secondary to a stretch injury associated with trauma and spondylolysis. He underwent eight weeks of aggressive physiotherapy to return to full strength. He was cleared to participate in track and field activities and won the state championship in his age group.

"This report shows that a young, healthy athlete can fully recover from a nerve root injury with the appropriate, aggressive therapy," said Claytor.

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