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Pseudochoreoathetosis secondary to progressive spondylotic cervical myelopathy
  1. Christopher Alan Brooks1,2,3,
  2. Chun Seng Phua4,5,
  3. Ashraf Dower3,6 and
  4. Renata Bazina3
  1. 1The School of Medicine, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  2. 2Neurosurgery, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  3. 3Neurosurgery, Liverpool Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  4. 4Neurosciences, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  5. 5Neurology, Alfred Health, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  6. 6Neurosurgery, Westmead Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Christopher Alan Brooks; brooks.christopher.alan{at}


Pseudochoreoathetosis is a rare movement disorder associated with loss of proprioception. Culprit lesions may occur at any point between the cerebral cortex and the peripheral nerve. Seldom is the underlying cause reversible or prone to improvement. An elderly man presented to our tertiary centre with choreoathetoid movements secondary to spondylotic subaxial cervical myelopathy. His myelopathy fulminated and he was emergently treated with posterior decompressive neurosurgery. Unexpectedly, his choreoathetoid movements improved significantly post-operatively. There are a multitude of reports of pseudochoreoathetosis secondary to lesions of various aetiologies; however, few have reported this disorder secondary to cervical spondylosis. To our knowledge, there is only one other report in the medical literature. Herein, we report a second case, for the purposes of raising awareness of this disorder, and to highlight relevant clinical pearls for clinicians who encounter this rare pathology.

  • movement disorders (other than parkinsons)
  • neurological injury
  • spinal cord
  • neurosurgery

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  • Contributors CAB wrote and edited the project manuscript and produced the figure. CSP wrote the abstract and edited the manuscript, as well as providing expertise related to movement disorders. AD assisted with the conceptualisation of the project. RB supervised the project.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.