|Congenital Muscular Torticollis |
Congenital muscular torticollis occurs when a newborn's neck is twisted because of a shortened muscle.
Muscular torticollis is also referred to as wryneck. A newborn can be born with muscular torticollis after a difficult delivery. Most of the time this happens when the baby is born breech or has a high birth weight.
During delivery, the baby's sternocleidomastoid (the muscle that runs from the jawbone to the collarbone and breastbone) gets pulled and will tear. This will cause bleeding and bruising on the muscle, which will lead to scar tissue build up. The scar tissue will then cause the baby's muscles to become shorter and tighter, causing the baby's head to pull to one particular side.
Parents and caregivers will notice that the child keeps their head tilted to one side and they usually also have a small, hard lump in their neck. A doctor can usually diagnose muscular torticollis during a physical examination, but x-rays and ultrasounds can be used to confirm the diagnosis.
Torticollis does not go away on its own and if it is not treated, the condition will only become worse. When muscular torticollis is not treated properly, it will cause the muscles to permanently tighten and the neck and face will become uneven in appearance.
Treatments options include stretching exercises, therapy and surgery.