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Infantile Torticollis: A Review Of 624 Cases.

Jack Chun-yiu Cheng, Amy Au
Published 1994 · Medicine
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We reviewed 624 cases of infantile torticollis in one centre over a period of 7 years. The incidence of torticollis was found to be 1.3% in Chinese children. Boy-to-girl ratio was 3:2. Obstetric histories of the mothers showed a total of 62.2% with difficult labour, breech deliveries, or caesarean section, and 6.04% had associated congenital anomalies. Of all the cases, 27.88% were found to be postural, 35.4% had torticollis that presented with sternomastoid tumor, and 36.7% presented with muscular torticollis alone. When limitation of neck range was considered, 36.7% had a passive rotation deficit > 15 degrees. In patients presenting in the early stages, 97% of all infantile torticollis cases resolved with conservative treatment, active stimulation, and a passive stretching program. For those responding to treatment, the mean treatment period was < 6 months for varying degrees of neck rotational deficit. Patients with cord-like muscular torticollis and a rotational > 30 degrees were more likely to need surgery. Presence of sternomastoid tumor alone was not found to increase the likelihood of surgery. Musculoskeletal sequelae after torticollis had resolved included intermittent head tilt and persistence of mild craniofacial asymmetry. We recommend continuous follow-up in cases of infantile torticollis, particularly in patients with progression of sternomastoid tumor to muscular torticollis.

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