Monday, June 6, 2016

Concussion In Sports: An Internet TV Show Panel Discussion with Lawrence Taylor & Lisa Dwoskin

Recently I was asked to be part of a panel discussion on the topic of concussion in sports and of course I did it. It was Co-Hosted by exercise physiologist and health coach Lisa Dwoskin & New York Giants Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor. I was happy to share the spotlight with my esteemed colleague Dr. Steve Perman of West Boca Raton, FL.

Concussion in sports is a deep topic. Think of the mad hatter going down the rabbit hole. You don't know how deep it will go or where it will lead you. Just expect the unexpected. Enjoy the video and post your thoughts and comments below.

The take home message from all this is (1) treat all concussion, even mild ones-seriously. (2) parents with children on a sports team where concussions and other sports injuries are probable, pool some money together and hire an athletic trainer or a certified sports chiropractor to evaluate and manage any injuries. (3) When it comes to concussion, all those bumps on the head add up. Addressing them early by a competent functional neurologist can make all the difference.


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Dr. Narson is a 2-term past president of the Florida Chiropractic Association’s Council on Sports Injuries, Physical Fitness & Rehabilitation and was honored as the recipient of the coveted Chiropractic Sports Physician of the Year Award in 1999-2000. He is an active triathlete, USA Triathlon Certified Coach and Ironman Miami 70.3 finisher.  He practices in Miami Beach, Florida at the Miami Beach Family & Sports Chiropractic Center; A Facility for Natural Sports Medicine.

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Friday, June 3, 2016

Let’s Dispel The Myth: Trauma Can Cause Schmorl's Nodes

It’s not that Schmorl’s nodes are mythical, they actually do occur. The problem is doctors and scientists like to give conditions they discover cute (and sometimes not so cute) names that are really not very descriptive of the physiology of the actual condition. Such is the case with Schmorl’s nodes.  

First described by Schmorl in 1927, a Schmorl’s node has classically been known to be due to any process which weakens the cartilaginous endplate or the subchondral cancellous bone. Schmorl’s nodes have been most commonly associated with Scheurman’s disease, Paget’s disease, degenerative joint disease, sickle cell anemia and malignant tumors. Essentially they occur because some physicologic process has gone awry, weakened the bony end-plate of the vertebral body and as the bone weakens, the pressure from the disc pushes and deforms upward into the vertebral body.

When physicians see Schmorl’s nodes on x-ray, CT-scan or MRI it is typically brushed off as an incidental finding-regardless if the area is symptomatic or not. Although radiology text books always mention trauma is a possible cause, it’s always at the very bottom of the list potential diagnosis and usually never given a second thought.  I think this needs to change.
Multi-level Schmorl's Nodes (fracture-herniation)
 

2 studies published in Spine V. Fahey et. al.) 1998 and the American Journal of Neuroradiology (Wagner, et. al. 2000) seem to bring the Schmorl’s node phenomenon to the top of the list when there is spinal pain caused by a trauma in an area where a Schmorl’s node is present. These papers show that not only can trauma cause a Schmorl’s node but most (57%) of the Schmorl’s nodes in 2000 AJNR study  were traced to episodes of “significant, sudden-onset, localized, non-radiating back pain and tenderness for which the MRI images showed Schmorl’s nodes surrounded by vertebral body marrow edema”.

Now that we know Schmorl’s nodes are occurring from trauma more often than originally thought, what exactly is a traumatically caused Schmorl’s node?  That’s a very simple answer. With a strong annulus and enough pressure placed on the intervertebral disc seen in car accidents, falls and other trauma;  the force takes the path of least resistance  fracturing and herniating up through the interior and/or superior end plate of the vertebra - fracturing its way into the spongy bone. 

Bottom line, if you find yourself having pain after a trauma and your x-rays, CT scan or MRI shows a Schmorl's node(s) in the area of your injury, then you can bet that the Schmorl's node was caused by the trauma. Now you just have to find a physician open minded enough to read the research and work with you to resolve your symptoms.

Todd M. Narson, DC, DACBSP®



 References: 
1) Yochum & Rowe; Essentials of Skeletal Radiology; p. 114 
2) Paul & Juhl; The Essentials of Roentgen Interpretation 
3) V. Fahey MBBS; et al.; The Pathogenisis of Schmorl’s Nodes in Relation to Acute Trauma. Spine 1998;23:2272-2275 
4) Wagner AL, Murtagh FR, Arrington JA, Stallworth D, American Journal of Neuroradiology 2000 Feb;21(2):276-81; Relationship of Schmorl's nodes to vertebral body endplate fractures and acute endplate disk extrusions.
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Dr. Narson is a 2-term past president of the Florida Chiropractic Association’s Council on Sports Injuries, Physical Fitness & Rehabilitation and was honored as the recipient of the coveted Chiropractic Sports Physician of the Year Award in 1999-2000. He practices in Miami Beach, Florida at the Miami Beach Family & Sports Chiropractic Center; A Facility for Natural Sports Medicine.


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