Selective peripheral denervation surgery for cervical dystonia was developed to treat cervical dystonia before the availability of botulinum neurotoxin injections. The term selective refers to the care taken to identify the muscles of the neck affected by dystonia, and the term denervation refers to cutting the nerves that supply those muscles. The purpose of the procedure is to reduce abnormal contractions in the affected muscles by severing the nerves to these muscles.
Only a percentage of cervical dystonia patients are candidates for this surgery, and few clinical centers in the United States offer the procedure. Studies have demonstrated that selective peripheral denervation can significantly improve the posture of the neck with a better range of motion. Physical therapy following the procedure is an important part of the process. Patients may still require botulinum neurotoxin injections following the procedure, and repeat procedures may be needed.
Last updated: November 2021
Thank you to Dystonia Medical Research Foundation (USA) for allowing us to share this information. The DMRF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to advancing research for improved dystonia treatments and ultimately a cure, promoting awareness, and supporting the well-being of affected individuals and families.