Posttraumatic Cervical Dystonia
Review articleOpen access
1993/05/01 Full-length article DOI: 10.1016/S0025-6196(12)60192-X
Journal: Mayo Clinic Proceedings
Posttraumatic cervical dystonia has been described as a distinct syndrome with some similarities to idiopathic nontraumatic cervical dystonia (torticollis). We describe five patients in whom cervical dystonia developed immediately after relatively mild trauma to the neck. Four of the five patients had persistent contractions of all cervical muscles including the trapezius muscles, which almost completely prevented motion of the neck and resulted in muscle hypertrophy. The condition persisted unabated in all patients for the entire period of follow-up (duration, 1 ½ to 3 years). Pharmaceutical interventions, which had been used previously for idiopathic nontraumatic cervical dystonia, failed to benefit these patients. Two patients who received injections of botulinum toxin had no more than mild benefit. Selective denervation was inapplicable because of the widespread involvement of all cervical muscles in all but one patient. Physical therapy was essentially ineffective. Because of the unusual features and possible medicolegal setting, clinicians may tend to diagnose this condition as a psychogenic disorder or litigation-oriented behavior. The clinical picture, however, is consistent with an organic dystonia that may render the patient functionally and occupationally disabled.
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