Microvascular decompression with partial occipital condylectomy in a case of pediatric spasmodic torticollis

  • Patrick Graupman
  • Timothy Feyma
  • Thomas Sorenson
  • Eric S. NussbaumEmail author
Case Report


Spasmodic torticollis is a rare, neurologic disorder that is caused by abnormal nerve compression of the 11th cranial nerve by blood vessels or bony protrusions. It is typically treated pharmacologically and, if necessary, with surgical intervention. We report a unique case of spasmodic torticollis in a 15-year-old female that involved abnormal compression of the left 11th cranial nerve (CN) by the left vertebral artery, displaced by a hypertrophic left occipital condyle. After treatment with Botox was unsuccessful, the patient was treated with microvascular decompression and occipital condylectomy that adequately relieved the abnormal compression of CN XI. Mild symptoms persisted, and the patient underwent a partial section of the sternocleidomastoid muscle 1 year later, after which torticollis symptoms resolved.


Spasmodic torticollis Torticollis Microvascular decompression Accessory nerve 



We acknowledge the research and editing support of Superior Medical Experts for this manuscript.

Funding information

We received a grant from the United Hospital Foundation in support of this work.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

381_2019_4065_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (198 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 198 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Gillette Children’s Specialty HealthcareSt PaulUSA
  2. 2.National Brain Aneurysm & Tumor CenterUnited HospitalMinneapolisUSA

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