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Available from: Zeljko Zivanovic
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    ABSTRACT: Vertebral artery (VA) occlusion is a serious and potentially life-threatening occurrence. Bow hunter's syndrome, a mechanical occlusion of the VA due to physiological head rotation, has been well described in the medical literature. However, mechanical VA compression due to routine flexion or extension of the neck has not been previously reported. The authors present the unique case of a woman without any history of trauma who had multiple posterior fossa strokes and was found to have dynamic occlusion of her right VA visualized via cerebral angiogram upon extension of her neck. This occlusion was attributed to instability at the occipitocervical junction in a patient with a previously unknown congenital fusion of both the occiput to C-1 and C-2 to C-3. An occiput to C-3 fusion was performed to stabilize her cervical spine and minimize the dynamic vascular compression. A postoperative angiogram showed no evidence of restricted flow with flexion or extension of the neck. This case emphasizes the importance of considering symptoms of vertebrobasilar insufficiency as a result of physiological head movement. The authors also review the literature on VA compression resulting from physiological head movement as well as strategies for clinical diagnosis and treatment.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2014 · Journal of neurosurgery. Spine
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    ABSTRACT: This article reviews some of the unusual sports-related neurologic disorders within the new and rapidly growing field of sports neurology that neurologists may encounter. Surfer's myelopathy is a potentially tragic disorder predominantly affecting novice surfers, leaving many who are affected by this condition with permanent paralysis. Neck-tongue syndrome is a rare primary headache disorder that can occur in athletes and nonathletes, and consists of paroxysmal neck and occipital pain and transient ipsilateral tongue numbness, triggered by sudden rotation of the neck. Athletes are also at risk for cervical arterial dissections, with golfers especially prone to vertebral rather than carotid dissections. Finally, "the yips" likely represents a form of occupational dystonia described in golfers. The syndromes described in this article range from relatively minor syndromes that cause discomfort or abnormal movement to potentially devastating cerebrovascular or myelopathic syndromes. Although the disorders described in this article are not common, they can affect individuals involved in sports at all levels, from the novice to the elite athlete, and may present to any neurologist. Neurologists should be aware of the potential for these syndromes to occur as a consequence of athletic activities in order to provide the most appropriate diagnosis, management, and counseling.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · CONTINUUM Lifelong Learning in Neurology
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    ABSTRACT: There is controversy surrounding the risk of manipulation, which is often used by chiropractors, with respect to its association with vertebrobasilar artery system (VBA) stroke. The objective of this study was to compare the associations between chiropractic care and VBA stroke with recent primary care physician (PCP) care and VBA stroke. The study design was a case-control study of commercially insured and Medicare Advantage (MA) health plan members in the U.S. population between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2013. Administrative data were used to identify exposures to chiropractic and PCP care. Separate analyses using conditional logistic regression were conducted for the commercially insured and the MA populations. The analysis of the commercial population was further stratified by age (<45 years; ≥45 years). Odds ratios were calculated to measure associations for different hazard periods. A secondary descriptive analysis was conducted to determine the relevance of using chiropractic visits as a proxy for exposure to manipulative treatment. There were a total of 1,829 VBA stroke cases (1,159 - commercial; 670 - MA). The findings showed no significant association between chiropractic visits and VBA stroke for either population or for samples stratified by age. In both commercial and MA populations, there was a significant association between PCP visits and VBA stroke incidence regardless of length of hazard period. The results were similar for age-stratified samples. The findings of the secondary analysis showed that chiropractic visits did not report the inclusion of manipulation in almost one third of stroke cases in the commercial population and in only 1 of 2 cases of the MA cohort. We found no significant association between exposure to chiropractic care and the risk of VBA stroke. We conclude that manipulation is an unlikely cause of VBA stroke. The positive association between PCP visits and VBA stroke is most likely due to patient decisions to seek care for the symptoms (headache and neck pain) of arterial dissection. We further conclude that using chiropractic visits as a measure of exposure to manipulation may result in unreliable estimates of the strength of association with the occurrence of VBA stroke.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Chiropractic and Manual Therapies
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