Dr. Dennis Woggon:
"Digital motion x-ray is an x-ray machine that takes 30 x-rays in one second, but it's about one-one thousandth of the normal radiation, very minimal amount of radiation. But with that we’re able to see the entire spine through motion. If you take a regular x-ray, that's a static x-ray, it's in one position. But as I start to move I can see the flexibility of that. We can actually see ligament instability or ligament laxity in the neck, and the back, and the lower back as well. You can't really see ligaments on the x-ray, but I can see the effects of ligament damage, ligament instability. It's like if I look outside I can't see the wind but I can see the wind blowing the leaves through the air, blowing the flag, going back and forth. So by being able to see that we get a much more interesting picture of a complex situation.
Scoliosis is very unique. In the 44 years I've been practicing, I've never seen two scoliosis patients that were the same. But once we do find out that they do have scoliosis, then I want to get as much knowledge as possible to understand it, so that I can figure this thing out. It's kind of like being a detective, which is kind of fun. I can figure out in two minutes with the digital motion x-ray, what it used to take me three weeks to figure out. So because of that we can get the answers much more quickly. Or if there's ligament laxity we can do specific spinal isometric exercises, take the place of those ligaments so that they can strengthen. It gives me a much better understanding of how the spine is going to respond to treatment.
This is the digital motion x-ray machine. It was designed by Dr. John Postlethwaite out of Florida. As I said before it takes 30 x-rays in one second, but it's a very small amount of radiation compared to scoliosis x-rays or any other x-ray. Because of that they'll have taken 30 x-rays in one second, we can see the entire spine in motion. And if we look here this is the cervical spine and there's a loss of curve. Now as the head goes up and down I can see where ligament laxity is, where there's ligaments that have been strained. We can actually see how that whole thing starts to change. And I can see the patient in the small picture box and I can see what the spine was doing just above that. So it really allows me to see what's happening. I'm gonna skip ahead here a little bit. We can actually check the intervertebral foramina where the nerves go out into the arms. So this isn’t good just for scoliosis patients, it actually works for any patient at all. I love working with scoliosis patients that are really difficult, but I love working with any difficult patient where there's scoliosis where normal medical and chiropractic procedures haven't worked; that's where I like to step in. So being able to see how this whole thing functions. We can also look at shoulders, elbows, knees, wrists. And then we can look at it from the front. I can check out the entire jaw. You can see her jaw actually gets stuck when she moves it to the left side. And then here, this allows me to see the neck as far as how it functions. The bottom of the head is called the occiput and on top of that sits the atlas. Now the Atlas holds up the head like Atlas held up the world in Greek mythology. The second vertebra’s called the axis because it's an axis of rotation. There's 22 more vertebra below that-none of them have names. It's like having 24 kids and only naming the first two. In other words, the Atlas and the occiput must be really important. And going back to birth trauma, this is the alar ligament that attaches. There’s, the Atlas has a little peg that sticks up called the dens, and we can see it right here. So as we get back and forth it should never be any motion this is where the spinocerebellar tracts are. And that alar ligament goes from that dens and hooks up to the head, so it stabilizes that whole entire head. Now, if my head drops off to the right side if I'm a baby, then as I start to grow, and we always have to let up to gravity, as I start to let up to gravity CR starts to pull the right shoulder up. So I really think it has a lot to do with, with that instability up on top. So I can actually watch this and measure it to see exactly where it goes off to the side.
And then I can come down and look at the entire scoliosis. That's the heart beating, so we've got an upper curve here that goes to the left. And then I can check it for motion. So when they bend how much does that move? Where is the hypermobility? Where is the hypomobility? Are there fixations in there? Is there flexibility in there? Things that I can actually address. I can take pictures of this. Now she's standing straight. So, this is the middle thoracic Cobb angle, and you can see how it's a lateral motion of the displacement spine of, but I can have her bend and see what type of flexibility in here. And by, based upon the flexibility I can come up with the prognosis. And then I can also figure out, do I need to focus on the lower back, or do the middle back, or the upper back? And it varies from scoliosis patient. Just because I've got a large middle back Cobb angle, doesn't mean that the upper cervical Cobb angle or the lower Cobb angle aren't the major ones. So by doing this bending I can actually figure out what is the major Cobb angle, which is gonna allow me to figure out what I need to focus on to work with. And again, I can figure out in two minutes what it used to take me three weeks to figure out. This is what I dream; literally, this is what I dream at night, but mine's in color instead of black and white! And I've been visualizing the spine in my head for 46 years. So today, being able to have a piece of equipment like this where I can actually see what I saw in my head years ago is just a fantastic asset to me."