BACKGROUND: Hemidystonia (HD) is characterized by unilateral involuntary torsion movements and fixed postures of the limbs and face. It often develops after deleterious neuroplastic changes secondary to injuries to the brain. This condition usually responds poorly to medical treatment, and deep brain stimulation often yields unsatisfactory results. We propose this study based on encouraging results from case reports of patients with HD treated by ablative procedures in the subthalamic region. OBJECTIVE: To compare the efficacy of stereotactic-guided radiofrequency lesioning of the subthalamic area vs available medical treatment in patients suffering from acquired HD. METHODS: This is an open-label study in patients with secondary HD allocated according to their treatment choice, either surgical or medical treatment; both groups were followed for one year. Patients assigned in the surgical group underwent unilateral campotomy of Forel. The efficacy was assessed using the Unified Dystonia Rating Scale, Fahn-Marsden Dystonia Scale, Arm Dystonia Disability Scale, and SF-36 questionnaire scores. RESULTS: Patients in the surgical group experienced significant improvement in the Unified Dystonia Rating Scale, Fahn-Marsden Dystonia Scale, and Arm Dystonia Disability Scale (39%, 35%, and 15%, respectively) 1 year after the surgery, with positive reflex in quality-of-life measures, such as bodily pain and role-emotional process. Patients kept on medical treatment did not experience significant changes during the follow-up. No infections were recorded, and no neurological adverse events were associated with either intervention. CONCLUSION: The unilateral stereotaxy-guided ablation of Forel H1 and H2 fields significantly improved in patients with HD compared with optimized clinical treatment.