Infant torticollis, or “wry neck,” is a common neck condition that occurs in approximately three out of every 100 babies in Texas and across the United States. It can be congenital and occur due to the baby’s positioning in the uterus, or it may occur as the result of traumatic birth. In rare cases, it occurs later in childhood due to an injury or illness. Though the condition is treatable, it requires a prompt diagnosis in order to begin treatment as soon as possible.
When a baby has infant torticollis, his or her neck will be twisted, which causes the head to tip to one side and the chin to point up. It is often initially diagnosed by a parent or by a doctor during a routine exam. Because newborns don’t have much neck control, the condition may not be noticeable until the baby is six to eight weeks old and holding his or her head up on their own.
The condition normally occurs during a traumatic birth when the physician uses too much force to pull the baby out from the birth canal. The use of forceps or vacuum extraction might also cause the condition. A CT scan of the neck and shoulders and an MRI of the brain are often used to diagnose infant torticollis. Medications, physical therapy, a neck brace and injections to relax the muscles are used to treat the condition.
Birth injuries often cause financial hardships for a family. Medical treatments and time off of work in order to take the baby for medical appointments can cost thousands of dollars. If the medical provider who delivered the baby acted negligently, they may be responsible for damages. In this case, a lawyer could help a family dealing with infant torticollis file a claim against the doctor who delivered the baby.