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23 June 2022 : Case report  Hong Kong

Conservative Management of Low Back Pain Related to an Unresectable Aggressive Sacral Hemangioma: A Case Report

Unusual or unexpected effect of treatment, Rare disease

Eric Chun-Pu Chu ORCID logo1ABCDEF, Robert J. Trager ORCID logo2CDEF*, Alan Te Chang Chen1ABE

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.936984

Am J Case Rep 2022; 23:e936984


BACKGROUND: Aggressive sacral hemangiomas are extremely rare benign tumors that can extend into the spinal canal, causing neurologic symptoms. Research on these tumors is limited given their rarity, and they have no agreed-upon treatment strategy. We report the first case of an aggressive sacral hemangioma responding well to conservative care, including manual therapies.

CASE REPORT: A 56-year-old Asian woman presented upon referral to a chiropractic office in Hong Kong with a 6-month exacerbation of chronic low back and lower extremity pain and weakness, requiring the use of a cane to walk. She had a known history of an aggressive sacral hemangioma with neural compromise and had been deemed ineligible for surgery and tumor ablation due to the large hemangioma size and risk of complications. Examination and imaging findings were consistent with compensatory myofascial pain, postural changes, sacral plexopathy, and lower cauda equina involvement. After coordinating with the neurosurgical team, the chiropractor carefully treated the patient with manual therapies, including thoracic spinal manipulation and instrument-assisted soft tissue manipulation, and mobility and strengthening exercises. She responded well, with symptom reduction lasting through 1-year follow-up, and no longer required the use of a cane.

CONCLUSIONS: This case illustrates the success of conservative chiropractic care for a patient with an aggressive sacral hemangioma not amenable to other treatments. As further research is needed on this topic, providers considering using manual therapies on patients with an aggressive sacral hemangioma should do so with caution and in collaboration with the patient’s medical or surgical team.

Keywords: Cauda Equina, Chiropractic, Hemangioma, Low Back Pain, Manipulation, Chiropractic, Neoplasms, Sacrum



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American Journal of Case Reports eISSN: 1941-5923
American Journal of Case Reports eISSN: 1941-5923