I have just been diagnosed with Spasmodic Torticollis (Cervical Dystonia). These symptoms began immediately following a neck fusion and have increasingly worsened. My head is at a20 degree tilt to the right (going toward my shoulder) and my shoulder is elevated 20 degrees. The pain that I am in is actually much worse than before I had the neck fusion. Is it possible that the surgery caused this dystonia? The fusion was performed after a MRI showed mild narrowing of the central spinal canal and left neural foramen at the level of c4-c5 by disc facet complexes and minimal bulging of the discs at c3-c4 c5-c6. My neuro said that surgery was immediately necessary because I could wake up paralyzed any day. However, today I am much worse than before.
I just received Botox injections, as all other medications have failed, but still take Vicodin twice daily and Valium 3 times per day.
I can only hope that these help, but have been told that I will have to have them every three months for the rest of my life. Is anyone familiar with this happening?
Its not clear whether the neck dystonia you have is a primary coervical dystonia, which occurs sporadically without a precipitating factor, and is an disorder in and of itself
or a secondary dystonia related to muscle spasm after neck surgery. Its possible you may have had the genetic makeup for cervical dystonia all along, and muscle spasm after surgery revealed it - this is not clear and is just a hypothesis
Botox is very helpful in releiving the pain of both primary cervical dystonia or chronic muscle spasm in general. An evaluation for other causes of secondary cervical dystonia might include a review of your medications, and of your neck/nerve roots to see if there is any persistent neck problems after surgery. Primary dystonia tends to persist in life, although some rare cases it resolves. The length of treatment for secondary dystonia depends on the underlying cause and how quickly that is resolved ie further neck problems or spasm
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