Test your knowledge: the vertebral artery.
Natural variation in the course of the vertebral artery occurs on a regular basis. It is also an important factor keeping the discussion regarding interventions in the high cervical spine alive. What is the most common course of the vertebral artery and what do the other pictures possibly implicate with respect to high cervical motion? The answer can be found below the picture.
(Image by: Sato et al., Surg Neurol 1994)
The right answer to the question was: A.
In some cases the vertebral artery (partially) runs upwards into the vertebral foramen of the first vertebra C1. It is sometimes hypothesized that the articular motion of the C1-C2 complex (rotation) puts stress on this vascular structure. This has however, to our knowledge, never been studied specificly. What do you think about this anatomic variation in relation to high cervical motion possibilities?