Physical Therapy Management of Congenital Muscular Torticollis: A 2018 Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guideline From the APTA Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy

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Abstract

Background:

Congenital muscular torticollis (CMT) is a postural deformity evident shortly after birth, typically characterized by lateral flexion/side bending of the head to one side and cervical rotation/head turning to the opposite side due to unilateral shortening of the sternocleidomastoid muscle; it may be accompanied by other neurological or musculoskeletal conditions. Infants with CMT should be referred to physical therapists to treat these postural asymmetries as soon as they are identified.

Purpose:

This update of the 2013 CMT clinical practice guideline (CPG) informs clinicians and families as to whom to monitor, treat, and/or refer and when and what to treat. It links 17 action statements with explicit levels of critically appraised evidence and expert opinion with recommendations on implementation of the CMT CPG into practice.

Results/Conclusions:

The CPG addresses the following: education for prevention; referral; screening; examination and evaluation; prognosis; first-choice and supplemental interventions; consultation; discontinuation from direct intervention; reassessment and discharge; implementation and compliance audits; and research recommendations. Flow sheets for referral paths and classification of CMT severity have been updated.

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