Arterial Dissection - Vertebral or Carotid

Would be interested in hearing from others with dissections. Where was the dissection, do you know the cause, how was it treated, what's your gender, and how old were you at the time?

I had a vertebral dissection, thought to be caused by chiropratic manipulation. It was treated with stenting. I am female and was 41 years old.

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Tom, I hope that you will join the Carotid Artery Dissection group on Facebook and share your story

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HI to all, Hope everyone is well. Me, I'm alive. That's what counts these days. I had a stiff neck so I went to my chiropractor. He was massaging my neck and then twisted it and I felt a snap. I went blind in my right eye and then when my sight came back everything was dark and I had alot of visual disturbances. He assured me that when they release the pinched nerves that this sometimes happens. "It's the blood starting to flow properly". I went home in excruciating pain and laid on the floor in tears for HOURS. I spoke with him a few times and even went back the same day.

The next day was no better so I went to the ER. They told me it was muscular and sent me home after a ct scan. The next morning I was called and told to see my neuro within 24 ours. My neurologist decided they couldn't see me for a month so I called the ER back. They told me to go back there. I was admitted for 5 days. Dissection of the Carotid....Immediately I was put on Heprin and eventually introduced to Coumadin.

I'm out of the hospital a week today and I cannot do much of anything without excruciating pain and dizziness. I can drive in short trips and I can food shop for about 20 minutes without becoming extremely tired and sore. I was so out of it today that I called the neurologist thinking that the pain I was having was the tear getting worse. I have a follow up visit tomorrow. I can't wait.

How long was everyone out of work? How long did your head pain last? Did anyone else have dizziness and extreme fatigue? Oh and I find myself forgetting really stupid things...Does that seem odd? something to ask the dr for sure....

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Judy,

Congratulations for surviving this event, being home from the hospital, and keeping a positive attitude!! I am sorry that you are having the lingering pain. I am also sorry that I am unable to answer any of your questions about the pains. My dissection was of my vertebal artery and it was identified after I had a major stroke so I do not have much recollection of things around that time. I had to have stents put in to open the artery and somehow I was lucky and did not have the excrutiating pain after that. If you would join us on the Carotid Artery Dissection group on Facebook there are at least 50+ other carotid dissection survivors and they may be able to answer some of your questions better than I can.

Regarding the forgetting things and extreme fatigue, please ask your neurologist if they can confirm that you did not have a mild stroke of any form. I am familiar with those symptoms with myself and others, depending on which lobe of the brain is affected, in my stroke survivor group. Good luck with your recovery and please some and join us on FB to meets others with experience.

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thank you so very much. Indeed I found the Face Book group, joined and posted like mad. My positivity left me a bit today. I will blog about it but in short the Neurologist today said that there is nothing Neurological wrong with me now other than the Dissection so he was releasing me back to work. I tried to explain that I cannot sit in long periods, drive or use the phone and work in a Call center but he said there was nothing more he could do and handed me my disability papers signing off that I can work. He also gave me a prescription for Flexeril and a Pain Management doctor. He advised me that if the pain Mgt doctor felt I still could not work then he would stop my release to work. I made an appointment for this coming Thursday.

I took a Flexeril around 2:30 this afternoon and took a 5 hour nap. The pain is better but I'm not sure if it's going to be feasible to take the pills when I have to work. I can't really sleep at work.

I had my INR this morning and it was the first needle I have had since I'm home from the hospital with the Coumadin in me. OMG I look like my husband beats me! I have to do this twice a week for the next 4 weeks...I'm going to be purple!!!

I'm happy I get to go back to work. As much as I hate when customers call and scream at me and curse me out, I still enjoy what I do and for the most part my customers are pretty cool. I miss my co workers and my daily routine which since this unfortunate event, has been thrown way off. I just don't know how well I'm going to work in pain. In a really busy day I can take 70-80 calls. I don't think I will hit that number this month. I hope the DR knows what he is doing by throwing me back into work....

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great link to general overview of carotid artery dissection

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/757906-overview

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to jsd
how are you doing now? are they going to do an
angiogram at 6 months? they were not going to
stent mine untill I got an aneurysm just below my dissection. I was 50% blocked at first. I also believe I tore my carotid from triahlon injury. I had my surgery
at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tn.

Tom

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Throwing my hat in the ring...

On July 30, 2009 I had what the doctor described as a left vertebral artery dissection which resulted in a stroke. The University of Iowa Hospital put in a stent and I had no physical after effects (you already know the mental after effects, grin). Anyway, I went on my way as a happy camper, taking Plavis and Aspirin for 3 months, then only Aspirin as well as low dose statin and the BP meds I had already been on.

My BP was not elevated at the time of the stroke, in fact it had been hovering around 100/70 because of exercise. One doc indicated that the lowered BP might have triggered it.

Not to worry, the stents keep that baby open. Oh, forgot to mention, my right vertebral artery never developed in childhood so I only have my left.

Last week I went in for my 6 month check up and I was shocked to be told the stent was now 75% closed. What? Are you kidding me? I have low cholesterol, low BP, I exercise, am trim.....what the heck?

Doc told me to be sure I dring 2 L of water daily, go back on Plavix, and off aspirin, and am doing that as this was just 5 days ago.

The doc was a little well, unworried, saying we will check in 6 months and if closed more, or if I have a tia (yeah, I really want to wait for that to happen) they will go in and do a balloon angioplasty.

Well, I gotta get that blockage outa there. So I have gone on the Ornish diet strictly and in 5 days in fact feel great. But I also feel like the Sword of Damocles is over my head what with one vertebral artery working and the other blocked 75%.

Normally stents up there only have a 15% blockage rate, and I am in the unlucky 15%. Of course, 6 months ago it was 95% blocked, and I am still without symptoms so I am better off than in July but.....worried, very worried.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

All the best.

Bob

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Judy,
Have you been doing any better? If not, I think I'd ask for a 2nd opinion from another neurologist with experience in dissections. I surprised that he released you to work in a job where you're having pain and problems sitting for long periods. Do you have a good primary care doctor and what do they say?

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Bob, Welcome to the stented only one verterbral artery club. Sorry that you're having to go through this. Please come and join us on the Facebook Verebral Artery Dissection Group and post this question. As for myself, I have 3 stents in my left vertebral. At 8 years out they're doing fine and open.There are other members of the group who have had stents block. I'd be happy to recommend a neuro surgeon who's a stenting expert for a consult on options.

Do you ever remember a time when you had "the worst headache of your life" which could have been your right vert dissecting and collapsing? At first we thought mine had never developed, latter I remembered the ER visit 5 years earlier when they told me it was a bad migraine and sent me home without any scans.

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Thanks so much. I will do that and look forward to joining.

All the best.

Bob

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Dear EApple,

No, I don't remember such an event. For a decade or two I used to get tension headaches on my right side, but Advil always knocked them out. Thankfully they disappeared in about 2002. Yesterday the doc said that a small amount of blood still may be trickling thru the right side.

All the best,

Bob

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Hi, I was 29 yrs old female and had a cervical disection caused by a rare genetic disorder.I have left field cut in both my eyes and am diabled on the left side with no sensation on the left side either.What are your lasting side effects?

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Hi Sellsgirl, After the verterbral artery dissection I had a left cerebellum stroke and a right occipital stroke. So I have the left field cuts on both eyes, ballance problems and I did have weakness and lack of coordination on my left side. I am 8 years out from the incident and have recovered my left side strength and coordination pretty well. I feel that my exercise and therapy routine helped a lot with that. I hope that you will join Facebook and our Vertebral Artery Dissection group. It's great to meet other people who understand our daily challenges. Hope to meet you there - Elizabeth

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Do you know the link to join the group on facebook cause I would really love to do that and it gives me hope that you had the same disabilities that I have and you recovered! I was beggining to think that I was stuck like this. I still have alot of life to live I'm only 30!

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I'm not quite sure how to point you to a group link other than Vertebral Artery Dissection Support; or you may friend me on Facebook, Elizabeth Apple, and mention Vertebral Dissection. Then you can link to the VAD group through the groups on my rpofile info.

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My name is Lisa. Back in April 2009 I was on an elliptical machine and my left vertebral spontaneously dissected. The hospital told me I just had a headache and sent me home. I knew something was terribly wrong. I went back in to the hospital and after many scans they discovered left vertebral and both carotids and renal had all dissected. I was sent to University of Michigan hospital where they put a double stent in my right carotid artery. This past Friday I had a renal angiogram to look at my dissected renal. They cannot put a stent in it and need to do a renal bypass. This has been a very difficult road with many tears. I feel like I am always at doctors or hospitals. I am very thankful to be alive though! Hopefully I can find some other people that have gone thru something similiar.

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Dear michmom,

Has any doctor discussed FMD, Fibromuscular Dysplasis, with you? My radiology scans never showed a positive diagnosis but my doctors treat my case as if I have FMD; mutiple dissections can be indicative. You might want to look at the Facebook groups on FMD please check out the arterial dissections groups. I feel that it really helps to be able to communicate with other individuals who really understand what you go through when you have a rare help condition. Wishing you continued improvement! - Elizabeth

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Thank you for your response. Yes, it was said to me in the beginning that they thought it could possibly be FMD. Then the doctors weren't sure, due to the fact that I have lupus as well. I went to the FMD clinic at Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Heather Gornick is who I saw and she said mine was more aggressive than any other cases she had seen and she wasn't sure this was FMD. Well, last Friday was my renal angiogram and the doctor said DEFINATELY there was "FMD beading" on the right artery. The treatment really won't change. I'm on Plavix, aspirin, lopressor and Norvasc and Plaquenil....but at least I know why my arteries are so fragile!

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Because of my fragile arteries my doctors placed restrictions on the activities that i can participate in. Since my vertebral neck arteries are the ones most at risk, I am not supposed to engage in roller coaster riding, skiing, sleeding, etc. None of those types of activities really excited me pre-dissection/stroke so I have gladly given up any activities that have high chance of encouraging another dissection. It's a very helpful discussion to have with your doctors. I hope that they have been able to provide you some guidance on the subject. I hope that you join our group out on Facebook. There are a few other women with Lupus and multiple dissections that are able to compare treatment option in our discussion topics. Continued success with your treatment, your fortunate to have access to such a wonderful medical center.

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I had a carotid dissection thought to be caused by going down a water slide. I am 38 years old

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