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[L. tortus, twisted + L. collum, neck]
Stiff neck associated with muscle spasm, classically causing lateral flexion contracture of the cervical spine musculature. It may be congenital or acquired. The muscles affected are principally those supplied by the spinal accessory nerve.
SYN: SEE: wryneck

The condition may be caused by scars, disease of cervical vertebrae, adenitis, tonsillitis, rheumatism, enlarged cervical glands, retropharyngeal abscess, or cerebellar tumors. It may be spasmodic (clonic) or permanent (tonic). The latter type may be due to Pott disease (tuberculosis of the spine).

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