Peripheral neurotomy for torticollis: a new approach

Stereotact Funct Neurosurg. 2001;77(1-4):40-3. doi: 10.1159/000064590.


Most of spasmodic torticollis is classifical as cervical dystonia and the treatment of choice is chemical or surgical denervation. There are two major procedures for surgical denervation, intradural ventral rhizotomy and extradural peripheral neurotomy (Bertrand procedure). Both have advantages and disadvantages. The authors have modified these procedures to minimize the complications, with unilateral intradural ventral rhizotomy of C1 and C2, extradural denervation of the C3-C6 posterior rami, and contralateral peripheral sectioning of the branches of the spinal accessory nerve to the sternocleidomastoid muscle. 30 patients underwent this modified operation (Group A) and the results were compared with those in a matched control group of 20 patients who underwent the traditional Bertrand procedure (Group B). Only one patient in Group A showed a sensory deficit in the C2 area, while all the patients in Group B had C2 sensory disturbance. Pre- and postoperative rating scores did not differ between the two groups. The intraoperative blood loss was significantly smaller in Group A. Compared with the traditional Bertrand's operation, our procedure involves fewer complications and significantly less intraoperative blood loss.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Accessory Nerve / physiopathology
  • Accessory Nerve / surgery*
  • Blood Loss, Surgical
  • Dura Mater / surgery
  • Humans
  • Muscle Denervation / adverse effects
  • Muscle Denervation / methods*
  • Muscle Spasticity / surgery
  • Neck Muscles / innervation*
  • Neck Muscles / physiopathology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rhizotomy / adverse effects
  • Rhizotomy / methods*
  • Sensation Disorders / etiology
  • Torticollis / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome