What is Torticollis (Crooked Neck Disease)?

In this article, we talked about everything you need to know about torticollis disease, which is especially seen in babies and can cause serious problems when neglected.

What is torticollis?

Also known as curved neck disease, it is seen in newborn babies. Torticollis, which starts to appear 1-2 months after birth , can be seen with hip dislocation problem in 20% of newborn babies . Torticollis, which can be treated without surgery at a high rate when diagnosed on time, can be corrected with surgical interventions if it is delayed.

What are the causes of torticollis?

Curved neck disease is thought to be a muscular problem. The shortness and tightness of one of these muscles, called the Sternocleidomastoid, located on both sides of the neck, is the cause of torticollis. However, it has not been fully elucidated why this muscle is short. It is thought that this situation is caused by a hemorrhage in the muscle becoming a connective tissue (hematoma) and triggered by a trauma such as coming from the anus during childbirth. But this idea has not been fully proven.

What are the symptoms of torticollis?

  • Swelling on the muscles on both sides of the neck,
  • The baby’s head is tilted towards the problem side,
  • Limitation of movement when trying to turn the head to the other side,
  • Symptoms such as the baby constantly turning his head to the same side may indicate crooked neck disease.

How is torticollis treated?

Torticollis surgery is not attempted immediately in the treatment of this disease. If the problem is detected immediately, exercise and physical therapy options are tried first. These torticollis exercises are passive exercises, based on moving the neck and the mother does it by moving the baby’s head. If these exercises are continued until the baby’s 6th month , the problem is almost completely eliminated. Of course, faster results can be obtained if it is performed with a physiotherapist.

It is also thought that sleeping with a pillow called a torticollis pillow is also effective.

If the problem is diagnosed late and not treated, the child’s head starts to look like it is stuck to the collarbone towards the age of 4-5 years. If torticollis does not respond to physical therapy, surgery may be required when the baby is 12-15 months old. After torticollis surgery, it may be necessary to use a plaster or corset for a while. If this disease is not treated, a serious asymmetrical appearance occurs on the face of the child in his later years. This disorder and curvature of the spine can also occur. These can create serious problems both socially and physically. Therefore, if you have been diagnosed with torticollis, it is very important that you do not delay the treatment of your baby.

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