Torticollis and Hip Dislocation

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Reports in the literature suggest that there is an association between two childhood disorders: torticollis, an easily recognized clinical deformity, and developmental dislocation or dysplasia of the hip, an occult disorder. The identification of the obvious disease, torticollis, may prompt a search for the occult disease, developmental dislocation of the hip. If the association of these two disorders is common, it may be justified to expend resources to diagnose the occult disorder in all cases in which the more obviously noticed disorder is recognized. The reported association varies between 2 and 29%. We retrospectively reviewed 70 patients with the diagnosis of congenital muscular torticollis to determine the incidence of hip dislocation or subluxation in these patients. Fifty-four patients had radiographs of their hips. Forty-one patients were available for follow-up at an average of age 3+4 years. Six patients were noted to have hip subluxation or dislocation, all at presentation. Of these, four had been referred for diagnosed hip disease, whereas two were referred for torticollis, and the hip disease was then diagnosed by the pediatric orthopaedist. No patient had abnormal radiographs or physical findings at follow-up. We conclude that the rate of hip disease in those with torticollis is ≈8% and is lower than the 20% often quoted.

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