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Intensive physiotherapeutic management of congenital muscular torticollis

Authors:

S S Wakista ,

Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, LK
About S S
Lecturer, Disability studies unit, Faculty of
Medicine, University of Kelaniya,
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G Ranchagoda

Sri Lanka College of Paediatricians, LK
About G
Consultant Paediatrician, Base Hospital, Horana.
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Abstract

Objectives To assess effectiveness of early and
intensive physiotherapeutic management of
congenital muscular torticollis and determine number
of visits to physiotherapy department to achieve
maximum clinical improvement in relation to age of
initiation of treatment.
Setting Physiotherapy department, Base Hospital,
Horana.
Method A prospective study was done from May to
December 2002 on babies brought for treatment of
congenital muscular torticollis. Intensive
physiotherapy was given by a physiotherapist twice
daily for 1 week and the mothers instructed in the
procedure. Further physiotherapy was given by
mothers at home with regular visits to the
physiotherapy department. On complete resolution of
torticollis, babies were referred back to the well baby
clinic where they were followed up until one year of
age. For statistical evaluation, Student’s t-test was
used.
Results 19 babies, ages ranging from 18-90 days, had
been referred for treatment of congenital muscular
torticollis during study period. 11 were female. 16
were diagnosed during first 2-3 weeks of life, and 3
at age of 3 months. 11 had left sided
sternocleidomastoid tumour, 7 had right sided tumour
and one had sternocleidomastoid shortening without
a palpable tumour. There were 17 spontaneous
vaginal deliveries (16 cephalic, 1 breech) and 2
vacuum extractions.
In 14 cases mothers were primigravidae. Infants in
whom treatment was initiated within 4 weeks of birth
achieved maximum clinical improvement with a
mean of 12 (SD 3.3) visits to physiotherapy
department. Infants treated after 4 weeks achieved
statistically significant (t = 3.81. p<0.01)
Conclusions Congenital muscular torticollis is
correctable if detected early and physiotherapy
commenced forthwith. Awareness programmes for
parents and their active participation are essential in
terms of full recovery and reduction of number of
visits to physiotherapist.

Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, 2004; 33: 43-5

(Key words: Torticollis, sternocleidomastoid tumour, physiotherapy)

doi: 10.4038/sljch.v33i2.651

 

How to Cite: Wakista, S.S. and Ranchagoda, G., 2009. Intensive physiotherapeutic management of congenital muscular torticollis. Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, 33(2), pp.43–45. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljch.v33i2.651
Published on 09 Jul 2009.
Peer Reviewed

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