Sydney Martin, a hazmat firefighter who had a back injury after falling onto the pile at Ground Zero on 9/11, spent years trying to uncover the mystery of a dance partner he never wanted: the scar along his spine that would jump and bounce all day and night.
“My whole body would shake, and my back would start doing a hula dance,” said Martin. “I saw every kind of doctor and had every procedure and medication you can think of. Then after finding my way to NYU Langone, I lost my dance partner of seven years.”
Martin, who saw numerous physicians on Long Island, was finally referred to specialists at NYU Langone’s Fresco Institute for Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders who diagnosed him with scar dancing syndrome, a peripherally induced movement disorder first described in medical literature in 2021.
To treat the condition, movement disorder specialist Patrick Drummond, MD, administers precise injections of botulinum toxin using real-time ultrasound imaging to target specific muscles in the back. After Martin’s first injections, the “dancing” subsided for about six months.
Subsequent visits have neutralized the movement for even longer. Martin said he’s grateful to Dr. Drummond and the entire care team at NYU Langone for helping him.
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