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Papers of the Week

2022 Nov 19

Am J Case Rep


Neck Pain and Headache After Pinealectomy: Improvement with Multimodal Chiropractic Therapies.


Chu E C-P, Trager RJ
Am J Case Rep. 2022 Nov 19; 23:e937906.
PMID: 36401511.


BACKGROUND Pineal gland tumors are rare central nervous system tumors, and while neck pain and headaches may be common among those who have had these tumors removed, there is little research regarding management of these symptoms. CASE REPORT A 45-year-old man with a history of pineal germinoma treated with pinealectomy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement at age 21 presented with chronic neck pain and headaches, which initially improved following his surgery and concurrent therapies, yet progressively worsened over the following years. He required thyroid and testosterone medication because of radiation-induced hypopituitarism, yet was employed, and until recently, active with playing tennis. He had previously seen his primary care provider, orthopedist, and neurologist, and had been cleared of severe pathology via brain magnetic resonance imaging and was referred to the chiropractor. On examination, the patient had severely limited passive cervical spine range of motion, yet hat no neurologic deficits, and radiographs showed mild cervical spondylosis and cervicothoracic scoliosis. His history and presentation were suggestive of radiation-induced fibrosis. The patient's neck pain, headaches, and quality of life improved with multimodal treatments including spinal and soft-tissue manipulation, stretches, and yoga. CONCLUSIONS This case illustrates long-term sequelae of a pineal gland tumor and its treatment, including neck pain and headache, and improvement with multimodal chiropractic therapies. Despite the success in this case, these results are not broadly generalizable. Further research is needed to understand the natural history of symptoms and effectiveness of multimodal therapies among patients who have had pineal tumor surgery.