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Congenital Muscular Torticollis: Where Are We Today? A Retrospective Analysis At A Tertiary Hospital

Daniela Melo Amaral, Rui Cadilha, José Afonso Rocha, Ana Isabel Silva, Fernando León Parada
Published 2019 · Medicine
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Abstract Background: The congenital muscular torticollis is characterized by a persistent lateral flexion of the head to the affected side and cervical rotation to the opposite side due to unilateral shortening of the sternocleidomastoid muscle. The majority of the cases resolve with conservative management, with parents/caregivers education and physical therapy. The aim of this study was to assess demographic and clinical characteristics, treatment options, and outcome, amongst infants referred to pediatric rehabilitation consultation due to congenital muscular torticollis. Methods: Retrospective cohort study of infants diagnosed with congenital muscular torticollis between January 2012 and December 2014. Obstetric and perinatal data, clinical presentation, comorbidities, treatment, and outcome were abstracted from clinical records. Results: One hundred six infants were included. There was no sex predominance and mean age at first pediatric rehabilitation consultation was 11.6 (10.4) weeks. Most women were primiparous (76.4%), dystocic labor predominated (73.6%), and pelvic fetal presentation occurred in 20.8%. At examination, 49.1% of the infants had abnormalities, beyond the tilt cervical, mainly range of motion restrictions and palpable nodule in sternocleidomastoid muscle. Among the 87 children who performed the cervical ultrasound, 29 (27.4%) had anomalies. Associated clinical conditions such as hip dysplasia were identified. The majority (71.7%) were submitted to conservative treatment, 30.2% in the Pediatric Rehabilitation Department. Most infants (97.2%) showed a complete resolution of the torticollis. Conclusions: Congenital muscular torticollis is the most common cause of torticollis in the infants. Early diagnosis, parent/caregivers education, and conservative treatment are crucial to achieving good results.
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