Temporary vertebral artery occlusion after C3 fracture dislocation injury and spontaneous resolution following reduction and instrumented fusion: case report and literature review

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Vertebral artery injuries as a result of blunt trauma can result in vertebrobasilar strokes. Typical treatment of such an injury includes early anticoagulation to prevent cerebral ischemic events due to vessel occlusion or embolism. We present a case of cervical fracture-dislocation injury and compression/occlusion of the right vertebral artery, which spontaneously resolved following surgical reduction and fusion. Postoperative cerebral angiography showed no evidence of vertebral artery stenosis, and systemic anticoagulation was discontinued. This case shows that vertebral artery occlusion can resolve spontaneously after fracture reduction, and cerebral angiography should play a role in assessing these complicated traumatic injuries.

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