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Post-traumatic benign paroxysmal positional vertigo
  1. Colin J Mumford
  1. Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Colin J Mumford, Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh EH4 2XU, UK; cmumford{at}ed.ac.uk

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I am a reasonably good skier but on a recent holiday I had minor accident, although looking back maybe not so ‘minor’. The circumstances were idiotic: skiing on a flat piste and trying to carve a double helix pattern in the snow, I collided with one of my companions, landing sequentially on head, right shoulder and right hip. I was winded but not knocked out. Over lunch, we noticed that my ski helmet was dented (figure 1) but I was fine to ski all that afternoon.

Figure 1

Damage to the side of the ski helmet.

I awoke at 04.00 hours the following morning with vertigo. The axis of spin was horizontal, in line with the orientation of my bed. It was extremely unpleasant, with a jerky sensation of movement as though the walls and ceiling were moving about 1/16 of a turn every second. I felt that my bed—when lying flat on my back—was slowly barrel rolling in the opposite direction, and that I would be thrown to the floor. Grabbing the bed sides, I was briefly fascinated to note that this was true rotational vertigo—a new experience for me—before realising I was about to be violently sick. On standing up, I fell …

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