A Case of Juvenile Bow Hunter's Stroke

This section is compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
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FROM:   No To Shinkei 2000;   52 (5) May:   431434

Hayashi K, Matsuo T, Kurihara M, Shibata S

Department of Neurosurgery,
Juzenkai Hospital,
Nagasaki, Japan

Bow hunter's stroke results from vertebrobasilar insufficiency caused by mechanical occlusion or stenosis of the vertebral artery at the C 1-2 level on head rotation. Commonly it is seen in elder people with cervical spondylosis. Here we reports a case of bow hunter's stroke in a 25-year-old male who complained of visual disturbance and syncope on rotation of the head 90 degrees or more to the left. This problem was frequently seen on driving a car. A cervical x-ray and MRI of the head revealed no abnormal findings such as atlantoaxial dislocation. Angiograms demonstrated obstruction of the right vertebral artery at the C 1-2 level on left rotation of the head. The hemodynamics on the circle of Willis were evaluated and surgical treatment was planned.

The posterior fusion involving C 1-2 has long been used to limit atlantoaxial rotational movements. However, it has the serious disadvantage because the range of head motion is severely reduced. Recently decompression of the atlantoaxial portion of the affected vertebral artery has been used, but recurrence of occlusion with head rotation can be seen postoperatively. Since the patient could predict the onset of attack, we managed him conservatively, and no traffic accident reported during this period of observation. Due to several surgical disadvantages, we propose that whenever possible, patients with bow hunter's stroke should be managed conservatively especially in young patients.


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