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Torticollis (Wry Neck)

  • What is Torticollis (Wry Neck)?

    Torticollis (also called Wry Neck) is when your baby’s head is tilted. The chin points to one shoulder, while the head tilts toward the opposite shoulder.

  • Congenital Torticollis occurs when the neck muscle that runs up and toward the back of your baby’s neck (Sternocleidomastoid Muscle) is shortened. Torticollis may:

    • Be present soon after birth due to scar tissue and tightness of the muscle on one side of the neck
    • May occur later in childhood

    Pain can indicate an infection or displacement of the joints in the upper neck. Sometimes congenital torticollis is caused by a bone problem in the neck portion of the spine (cervical spine). This is known as a congenital malformation of the cervical spine.

  • Your baby will have difficulty in turning the head to the opposite side. Your baby may not be able to move his or her head as well as other babies. You may also notice a lump in your baby’s neck muscle. Your baby may have flattening of head and face due to his or her preference of head position. The neck muscle (Sternocleidomastoid) may be tight.

  • Treatment involves stretching the baby’s tight neck muscle. A physiotherapist will show you how to do the exercises safely. Other ways to naturally stretch your baby’s neck is to do things so that he or she rotates the chin toward the shoulder of the affected side, for example:

    • During feeding, hold your child in a way that makes him or her rotate the chin to the correct position
    • Place the crib so that your child turns his or her chin the correct way in order to see the room
    • Place toys and other objects in such a way that your baby has to turn his or her head to see them and play with them

    If your baby does not improve after a few months of stretching, surgery may be needed to stretch or lengthen the neck muscle.

  • Complications include:

    • Asymmetry of the head
    • Contracture (shortening) of the neck muscle
    • Flat head
  • Our Specialists

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    • Antony Westwood Gardner

      Specialty:
      Orthopaedic Surgery

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      Clinic:
      Orthopaedic Associates
      Location:
      38 Irrawaddy Road #11-49/50/51
      Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
      Singapore 329563
      Contact No:
      6334 0622
    • Ang Chia Liang

      Specialty:
      Orthopaedic Surgery

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      Clinic:
      Island Orthopaedic Consultants Pte Ltd
      Location:
      38 Irrawaddy Road #05-42
      Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
      Singapore 329563
      Contact No:
      6352 0529
    • Ang Kian Chuan

      Specialty:
      Orthopaedic Surgery

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      Clinic:
      Orthosports Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine
      Location:
      38 Irrawaddy Road #10-41
      Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
      Singapore 329563
      Contact No:
      6734 8168
    • Bell David Paul

      Specialty:
      Orthopaedic Surgery

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      Clinic:
      Orthosports Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine
      Location:
      38 Irrawaddy Road #10-41
      Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
      Singapore 329563
      Contact No:
      6734 8168
    • Bose Kamal

      Specialty:
      Orthopaedic Surgery

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      Clinic:
      Bose Bone, Joint & Spine Clinic
      Location:
      3 Mount Elizabeth #14-12
      Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre
      Singapore 228510
      Contact No:
      67387155
    • Chan Beng Kuen

      Specialty:
      Orthopaedic Surgery

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      Clinic:
      Orthopaedics International
      Location:
      3 Mount Elizabeth #06-03
      Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre
      Singapore 228510
      Contact No:
      67376386
    • Cheng Wei Nien

      Specialty:
      Orthopaedic Surgery

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      Clinic:
      Cheng Orthopaedic Spine & Recon
      Location:
      3 Mount Elizabeth #03-03
      Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre
      Singapore 228510
      Contact No:
      6735 1825
    • Cheung Tin Lung Alan

      Specialty:
      Orthopaedic Surgery

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      Clinic:
      International Orthopaedic Clinic
      Location:
      38 Irrawaddy Road #05-24
      Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
      Singapore 329563
      Contact No:
      6253 7111
    • Chew Tec Hock Jeffrey

      Specialty:
      Orthopaedic Surgery

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      Clinic:
      Centre For Orthopaedics & Hip & Knee Surgery
      Location:
      3 Mount Elizabeth #16-10
      Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre
      Singapore 228510
      Contact No:
      6738 2628
      Clinic:
      Centre For Orthopaedics And Hip And Knee Surgery
      Location:
      38 Irrawaddy Road #10-34/35
      Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
      Singapore 329563
      Contact No:
      6684 5828
    • Chew Yoon Chong Winston

      Specialty:
      Orthopaedic Surgery

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      Clinic:
      Hand Surgery Associates
      Location:
      38 Irrawaddy Road #10-51/52/53
      Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
      Singapore 329563
      Contact No:
      6690 5690

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