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The Torticollis Clinic at St. Louis Children’s Hospital provides treatment for mild to severe cases of congenital (present at birth) muscular torticollis. This condition results when an infant’s neck muscle is shortened, causing the neck to twist. Although some extremely mild cases may resolve on their own, most need some type of treatment.
Our clinic’s approach to treatment
Our goal in treating torticollis is to resolve the condition with the least invasive therapy possible. The first step is specially designed physical therapy (PT) that involves gentle stretching exercises to help relieve tension in the neck and lengthen the shortened muscle. In addition to PT sessions at the clinic, parents are taught stretching exercises to do at home with their babies. They also learn ways to encourage their babies to stretch the muscle during everyday motions, such as positioning toys so that babies need to turn their heads to see them.
When physical therapy alone is not enough, botox injections are used. Botox helps relax the muscle so that it stretches more easily during the physical therapy exercises.
When neither of these approaches is effective, minimally invasive surgery to lengthen the muscle is needed.
Meet the team
Matthew Dobbs, MD
Gosia Flynn, PT
For more information
For more information about torticollis and its treatment at St. Louis Children's Hospital, contact us at 314.454.KIDS (5437) or 800.678.KIDS (5437).