Outcome of Surgical Treatment of Congenital Muscular Torticollis

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Abstract

Eighty-four patients with congenital muscular torticollis were treated surgically in a 10-year period with a mean followup of 5 years (range, 2–13 years). All patients were classified into subgroups according to the type of congenital torticollis, the limitation of passive rotation of the neck, and other parameters, including head tilt and craniofacial asymmetry. Twenty-two (26.2%) patients underwent surgery before they were 1 year of age, 22.6% were between 1 and 3 years of age, 38.1% were between 3 and 10 years, and 13.1% were older than 10 years. Postoperative management included physiotherapy for 3 to 4 months and the application of a multiply adjustable torticollis brace for 10 weeks in children older than 2 years of age. Loss of the sternomastoid column was found in 82.6%, poor scar in 2.4%, lateral band in 47.2%, and 1.2% required a second operation. The final overall score showed excellent results in 88.1%, good results in 8.3%, and fair to poor results in 3.6%. The most important factor affecting the overall result and outcome was found to be the age of the patient at the time of operation. However, this series also showed that for patients who were 10 years or older at the time of surgery, 63.6% had excellent results and 81.8% had good to excellent results, indicating the benefit of surgery even in the late cases.

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