Right Vertebral Arterial Dissection from a Car Accident

A 32 year-old woman was a passenger in a car that was hit from the side by a truck. Since that car accident left her seriously injured, she turned to Kalka & Baer for legal help. In our client’s case, she immediately felt pain in her neck and the inability to use the upper part of her right arm after the car accident. She was then diagnosed with having torticollis and a neurological examination of the right upper limb showed decreased function of the brachial plexus.

Our client suffered a devastating injury involving her dominant limb, which she immediately felt. The neck pain she also felt clued doctors into a potentially serious injury that was not suspected: vertebral artery dissection. A vertebral arterial dissection (often abbreviated as vertebral dissection or VAD) refers to a tear of the inner lining of the vertebral artery. Located in the neck, the vertebral artery supplies blood to the brain, so a vertebral dissection impends blood flow and can cause serious resulting injuries.

This injury is commonly overlooked. The clue to our client’s vertebral dissection injury was a transverse process fracture of C6, which was not diagnosed in the original X-rays. The full extent of the injuries was only picked up during re-evaluation.

Treatment for these two injuries can be quite intense and long lasting. Typical treatment for a vertebral artery dissection focuses on reducing risk of stroke episodes and further damage to another artery. This can include anticoagulation and antiplatelet medication and even thrombolysis, medication that dissolves blood clots. Treatment for damage to the brachial plexus can include rest, medication, physical therapy, and possibly surgery.


If you have been in a car accident that has left you seriously injured…

Categories: General