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J Korean Neurosurg Soc. 2017 Jan 1;60(1):82-88. doi: 10.3340/jkns.2016.0303.018. Epub 2016 Dec 29.

Adult Patients with Congenital Muscular Torticollis Treated with Bipolar Release: Report of 31 Cases.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Maryknoll General Hospital, Busan, Korea.



We assessed the surgical results of bipolar release in 31 adult patients with uncorrected congenital muscular torticollis (CMT) and more than 12 months of follow-up.


Thirty-one patients underwent a bipolar release of the sternocleidomastoid muscle (SCM) and were retrospectively analyzed. The mean follow-up period was 14.9 months (range, 12-30). The mean age at time of surgery was 30.3 years (range, 20-54). Patients were evaluated with a modified Lee's scoring system, cervicomandibular angle (CMA) measurement, and a global satisfaction rating scale using patient self-reporting.


The modified Lee's scoring system indicated excellent results in 4 (12.9%) patients, good in 18 (58.1%), and fair in 9 (29.0%) at the last follow-up after surgery. The improvements in neck movement and head tilt were statistically significant (p<0.05). The preoperative mean CMA was 15.4° (range, 5.4-29.0), which was reduced to a mean of CMA of 6.3° (range, 0-25) after surgery (p<0.05). The global satisfaction rating scale was 93.7% (range, 90-100). A transient sensory deficit on the ipsilateral lower ear lobe was noted in three cases. No significant permanent complications occurred.


Bipolar release of the SCM is a safe and reliable technique for the treatment of CMT in adults.


Adult; Congenital; Sternocleidomastoid muscle; Tenotomy; Torticollis

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