A member asked:

With vertebral artery dissection, are neurological symptoms always contralateral, or can they happen on the same side as the dissection?

3 doctors weighed in across 2 answers
Dr. Kornelis Poelstra answered

Specializes in Orthopedic Spine Surgery

Vertebral artery: ...Dissection is a rare condition / trauma. Often there are just intimal tears (or disruptions on the inside layer of the vessel) and only seldomly is there a true dissection. Symptoms can vary greatly b/w patients, but contra-lateral symptoms are not common. It has to do with the bloodvessel ring at the base of the brain that typically connects the left-and-right sides together. U have more info?

Answered 5/22/2016

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Dr. Mark Fisher answered

Specializes in Neurology

Not the DISSECTION: It's vascular occlusion from any cause, not just dissection, that does the damage. Here's why not always contralateral: 1. VAs unite to form the basilar artery so thrombi/emboli don't stay on just one side; 2. The brainstem contains some structures e.g. cranial nerves whose outflow doesn't cross & others that double-cross; 3. If the damage is caudal to the decussation of the pyramids (rare).

Answered 8/12/2018

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Could you get vertebral artery dissection from neck cracking?

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