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Rotational Vertebral Artery Occlusion Syndrome

A Review of Recent Literature

Sotheran, Matthew PA-S1

JBJS Journal of Orthopaedics for Physician Assistants: April-June 2019 - Volume 7 - Issue 2 - p e0039
doi: 10.2106/JBJS.JOPA.18.00039
Review Articles

Rotational vertebral artery occlusion syndrome (RVAOS) is an uncommon, but well-described etiology vertebrobasilar insufficiency. Symptoms (vertigo, headache, and syncope) are caused by dynamic compression of the vertebral artery. Conservative management consists of trigger avoidance, neck braces, and antiplatelet therapy. Operative techniques include surgical decompression and endovascular catheterization. Herein, 4 recently published case studies are reviewed, which suggest that while conservatively managing RVAOS may reduce symptoms and risk of posterior circulation stroke with permanent deficits, surgical intervention remains necessary for quality of life.

1Physician Assistant Program, Stephens College, Columbia, Missouri

Disclosure: The Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest forms are provided with the online version of the article (

Copyright © 2019 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated.
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