Send to

Choose Destination
BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2008 Nov 26;9:158. doi: 10.1186/1471-2474-9-158.

Is surgery recommended in adults with neglected congenital muscular torticollis? A prospective study.

Author information

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Ghaem hospital, Mashhad, Iran.



Congenital muscular torticollis is the third most common congenital musculoskeletal anomaly after dislocation of the hip and clubfoot. When diagnosed early, it is obvious that it can be managed with good or excellent results. The aim of this prospective study was to determine the efficacy of surgery in neglected adult cases.


From January 2003 to June 2007, 18 adult skeletally matured patients were surgically treated for neglected congenital muscular torticollis and prospectively followed (at least one year). Bipolar release was performed in all patients. Radiography and the modified Lee's scoring system which included function and cosmesis, were used to measure the surgical results. Complications were also recorded.


Four cases were lost during follow-up. Of the remaining 14 patients, 10 cases were males and 4 females. The age at operation ranged from 18 to 32 (average 21.9) years. The mean follow-up period was 2.5 years (range 1-5 years). Excellent results were noted in 7 patients, good in 5, and poor in 2 patients. Significant improvement (>10 degrees) of the cervico-thoracic scoliosis was noted only in 3 of 10 patients.


Patients with congenital muscular torticollis can benefit from surgical treatment even in adulthood. Surgical bipolar sectioning of the sternocleidomastoid muscle should be considered even in adults with irreversible facial and skeletal deformities. The surgery restores the range of neck motion and resolves the head tilt; therefore it can improve the quality of life. This procedure is an effective and relatively complication-free method.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center