Preoperative treatment with botulinum toxin to facilitate cervical fusion in dystonic cerebral palsy. Report of two cases

J Neurosurg. 1998 Feb;88(2):328-30. doi: 10.3171/jns.1998.88.2.0328.


The authors report the use of high-dose botulinum toxin A for muscle relaxation prior to surgery for cervical spine fixation in two patients with dystonic cerebral palsy that included severe cervical dystonia. Both patients had recently developed progressive cervical myelopathy and surgery was planned to halt the insidious progressive weakness. However, marked dystonic posturing of the neck would have compromised their tolerance of halo fixation and subsequently impeded postoperative fusion. Preoperative chemodenervation of selected cervical muscles with injections of high-dose botulinum toxin A eliminated all involuntary neck movements, permitting the patients to tolerate halo fixation and facilitating postoperative spinal fusion. It is concluded that botulinum toxin A can be used safely and effectively in the preoperative management of patients with cervical dystonia and cervical spondylitic myelopathy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Dyskinesia Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Botulinum Toxins / therapeutic use*
  • Cerebral Palsy / surgery*
  • Cervical Vertebrae / surgery*
  • Dystonia / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Preoperative Care*
  • Spinal Fusion*
  • Spine / pathology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Dyskinesia Agents
  • Botulinum Toxins