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Tragic Result of Traditional Chinese Medicine Manipulation: An Unusual Case Report of Bilateral Anterior Shoulder Dislocations

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Tragic Result of Traditional Chinese Medicine Manipulation: An Unusual Case Report of Bilateral Anterior Shoulder Dislocations

Chiu-Liang Chen et al. BMC Complement Altern Med.

Abstract

Background: In Taiwan, there is a good universal healthcare system to the patients; however, the majority of Taiwanese seek the complementary and alternative medicine when they are injured or ill. The traditional Chinese medicine, which is a branch of complementary alternative medicine, is prevalent in Taiwan. Without proper sequence of maneuvers, either traditional Chinese medicine or conventional medicine might cause unexpected complications. We report a case of 76-year-old woman who was manipulated by a bonesetter, leading to bilateral anterior shoulder dislocations. To the authors' best knowledge, this injury mechanism of bilateral shoulder dislocations has not been reported in the literature. Since the traditional Chinese medicine is popular in Taiwan, proper training with better skills for the practitioners should be emphasized. We highlight the integration and collaboration of traditional Chinese medicine with western medicine to achieve a better health care for the patients.

Case presentation: A 76-year-old Taiwanese woman has been suffering from soreness and stiffness of bilateral shoulders for 6 months. She went to a bonesetter for mobilization for her shoulders. After manipulations for bilateral shoulders, the woman experienced locked both shoulders with sharp pain. She came to our institute, where the radiographs confirmed bilateral anterior shoulder dislocations. Closed reduction for the dislocations was done by the physician. The patient returned to good range of motion of bilateral shoulders after subsequent rehabilitation without any neurologic deficits.

Conclusions: To the authors' best knowledge, this unusual injury of bilateral anterior shoulder dislocations had not been reported. The possible mechanism of this injury and the health belief of traditional Chinese medicine in Taiwan are discussed. Improper shoulder manipulations would lead to unexpected complication in any medical practices. We suggest that both traditional Chinese medicine and conventional medicine should follow specific sequences of manipulations; Collaboration and integration with each other could achieve a better healthcare for the patients.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Chest radiograph demonstrating bilateral anterior shoulder dislocations.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Right shoulder radiograph showing successful closed reduction.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Left shoulder radiograph showing successful closed reduction.

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