Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Symptoms Evaluation Treatment questions for doctor specialist Home Care pain control warning signs Outlook Underlying Cause Types congenital torticollis

Neck Spasms Congenital Torticollis

Congenital torticollis is present at birth. Infants born with torticollis appear healthy at delivery. However, within the first few weeks, they develop swelling of the tissues on the side of the neck.

The neck swelling is due to an injury to the sternocleidomastoid muscle on one side of the neck. The two sternocleidomastoid muscles rotate the head from side to side. The injury usually occurs just before delivery, or during delivery. The swelling gradually resolves, but the injured sternocleidomastoid muscle becomes a stiff band of tissue. This can result in abnormal positioning of the neck.

Last Updated: Jul 10, 2009 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Neck Spasms References
  1. Jhee SS, Zarotsky V, Mohaupt SM, Yones CL, Sims SJ. Delayed onset of oculogyric crisis and torticollis with intramuscular haloperidol. Ann Pharmacother. 2003 Oct;37(10):1434-7. [14519055]
  2. Sa DS, Mailis-Gagnon A, Nicholson K, Lang AE. Posttraumatic painful torticollis. Mov Disord. 2003 Dec;18(12):1482-91. [14673885]
  3. Shim JS, Noh KC, Park SJ. Treatment of congenital muscular torticollis in patients older than 8 years. J Pediatr Orthop. 2004 Nov-Dec;24(6):683-8. [15502570]
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