Many conditions can cause acquired torticollis. While many are relatively benign, some can be life-threatening, so a timely and accurate diagnosis is important.

Conditions associated with acquired torticollis include:

(1) tumors, cysts or other lesions in the posterior fossa

(2) tumors of the upper cervical spine

(3) epidural hematoma of the cervical cord

(4) congenital malformations of the cervical vertebrae (C2 semisegmented hemivertebra, occipital condyles, other)

(5) cervical spondylodiscitis

(6) pyogenic abscess in the upper neck

(7) tuberculosis of the cervical spine

(8) trauma with atlantoaxial dislocation or rotary subluxation

(9) ocular torticollis

(10) neural axis abnormalities

(11) atypical Kawasaki disease

(12) Sandifer syndrome associated with GERD

(13) benign paroxysmal torticollis

(14) retropharyngeal abscess

(15) drug-induced dystonia

(16) cervical dystonia

(17) a rheumatologic disease involving the cervical spine

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