Twenty three patients underwent surgery for spasmodic torticollis. In 11 of the patients myotomy of the sternocleidomastoid muscle was done, and in the remaining 12 patients cervical rhizotomy according to Foerster and Dandy was performed. After a mean follow-up time of 4 years the long term effects of surgery were assessed. Only 2 of the patients (9%) had a good overall outcome in contrast to the poor or very poor results in 13 of the patients (56%). Both of these methods therefore seem to be only rarely indicated for surgical treatment of spasmodic torticollis.