Congenital muscular torticollis is the most common type of torticollis. It presents in the newborn period. Its cause is unknown, but it has been hypothesized to arise from compression of the soft tissues of the neck during delivery, resulting in a compartment syndrome. Radiographs of the cervical spine should be obtained to rule out congenital vertebral anomalies. Clinical examination reveals spasm of the sternocleidomastoid muscle on the same side as the tilt causing the typical posture of head tilt toward the tightened muscle and chin rotation to the opposite side. Initial treatment is stretching and is successful in up to 90% of patients during the first year of life. Surgery is considered for persistent deformity after 1 year of age. Common problems noted in patients with congenital muscular torticollis include congenital hip dysplasia and plagiocephaly (facial asymmetry).
Was this article helpful?