Cervical Dystonia: Rotational Torticollis

  • Roongroj Bhidayasiri
  • Daniel Tarsy
Part of the Current Clinical Neurology book series (CCNEU)


Cervical dystonia (CD), also known as spasmodic torticollis, produces several varieties of abnormal head posture. The most common of these is rotational torticollis. In many patients, there is an associated laterocollis, usually to the side opposite the rotation, which creates the image of “a robin looking at the worm.” In some cases, the laterocollis may be ipsilateral to the side of rotation. The second most common abnormality of head posture is laterocollis which is typically associated with shoulder elevation ipsilateral to the direction of head tilt. Pure retrocollis and anterocollis are less common forms of CD and more often occur in combination with rotational torticollis or laterocollis.


Deep Brain Stimulation Botulinum Toxin Essential Tremor Head Posture Cervical Dystonia 
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Supplementary material

CD - Rotational torticollis.mp4 (MP4 3,297KB)

The patient displays extreme tonic rotation of her head to the left side. She is able to rotate it nearly fully to the opposite side. With her head in midline position, mild left laterocollis with left shoulder elevation is also evident.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roongroj Bhidayasiri
    • 1
    • 2
  • Daniel Tarsy
    • 3
  1. 1.Chulalongkorn Center of Excellence on Parkinson’s Disease and Related DisordersChulalongkorn University HospitalBangkokThailand
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyDavid Geffen School of Medicine at UCLALos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Department of NeurologyHarvard Medical School Beth Israel Deaconess Medical CenterBostonUSA

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