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Glendale Adventist Medical Center
1500 E. Chevy Chase Drive, Suite 401B
Glendale, CA 91206
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A Rare Case of Dropped Head Syndrome

Posted on: 02/22/2007
In this case report, surgeons from the Department of Neurosurgery at Kinki University School of Medicine (Japan) present a rare case of dropped head syndrome. The patient was a 68-year old woman with her head hanging forward.

Her symptoms came on gradually and got worse over a month's time. There were no neurologic problems at first. Gradually, she developed weakness in her arms and legs. She could no longer walk. Other neurologic signs and symptoms developed.

Treatment with steroids for inflammation made no difference in her symptoms. An X-ray showed an area of instability at the C34 cervical spine level. A year after her symptoms first started, she tried using a cervical collar. There was no change in her symptoms.

Surgery to fuse her spine was successful. She was able to resume all activities including walking. The authors say this is the first report of dropped head syndrome with spinal cord compression. Pressure on the spinal cord was caused by cervical spine instability and muscular weakness of the neck.

Since the cause of the problem was not a neuromuscular disease, direct treatment with surgery was successful.

Kinya Nakanishi, MD, PhD, et al. Cervical Myelopathy Caused By Dropped Head Syndrome. Case Report and Review of the Literature. In Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine. February 2007. Vol. 6. No. 2. Pp. 165-168.

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