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Neck tongue syndrome

Dr Henry Knipe and Assoc Prof Frank Gaillard et al.

Neck tongue syndrome (NTS) is rare and comprises altered sensation in one side of the tongue aggravated by neck movement, with ipsilateral neck pain 1

NTS is seen in a wide range of ages but is more commonly reported in older children and young adults 1-3

Patients present with episodic, often severe upper cervical and occipital pain with associated symptoms in the ipsilateral tongue, including numbness, pseudoathetosis, dysarthria, and lingual paralysis. Neck movement aggravates the condition 1-3

NTS is believed to be due to damage to lingual afferent fibers traveling in the hypoglossal nerve to the C2 spinal roots, possibly due to subluxation of the lateral C1/2 joints 1-3. It is divided into 3

  • complicated NTS: underlying disease process (inflammatory or degenerative) can be identified
  • uncomplicated NTS: idiopathic or trauma-related
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Article information

rID: 27336
Section: Syndromes
Tag: cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Neck tongue syndrome (NTS)

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