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has anyone heard of torticollis/wryneck?

Not sure where to post this, so posting it on several forums.

My baby henry is 4 weeks old and was back to back inside me during labour, i remember being told his head was also acynclitic (tilted) for much of the labour.

He was born by ventouse and had a normal ventouse mark after delivery.

After he was born he lay on his right side more than his left - but he had the ventouse mark on the left and it is not unusual for babies to pick a side to lie on.

Over the last week or two he has appeared to keep his head on this side when awake and alert more and more. Last week i noticed a lump in his neck on left side. At first i thought this was just his neck bone jutting out, as he was holding his head the other way on.

This weekend the lump is definately growing and it isnt just his neck bone. It is painless, he doesnt mind you touching it. When you move his head to the right he can do it - but doesnt choose to.

Im taking him to the GP on monday but when i looked up his symptoms i found out about torticollis - also called wryneck, where the muscle that attaches his neck to collar bone and breast bone could have been strained by his position inside me or his delivery. This is not obvious at birth but over the first month the baby holds his head to the side more and a lump develops. The lump disappears by 3 months and the danger is that it then goes undiagnosed. If diagnosed early the baby can have physio, if not it can cause damage needing surgery. it affects about 1 in 200 babies so isnt that uncommon. i may be jumping the gun trying to diagnose him myself! but am terrified the gp will be dismissive. has anyone had a baby with this?


  • I havent but my colleagues baby had this and health visitor picked up on it when he was about a month old. All they did was put him to the physiotherapist who showed them daily exercises to do and after a couple of months you'd never know he'd hads it. I'm sure if your gp is worth his degree then he'll have seen it many times and hopefully refer you on to the correct place and if not push him on it, Mum knows best and it sounds very like torticollis.

    Good luck!

  • My friends baby hand this after a forcep delivery. She took him to a a baby osteopath clinic and it made a massive difference to him. He would only sleep with his head on one side, constantly stretching. He was also very unsettled. She really reccomends it.
  • thanks ladies. apparantly its non painful, and he doesnt seem to be in pain. But it must be awful not being able to look to his right! I have a GP appointment for 1540 this afternoon and will be pushing for a referral. I might be jumping the gun but will not be happy unless its ruled out at least.
  • the gp ended up on the internet! he didnt seem to really know, he told me he'd only seen it once before. he thinks it might well be torticollis. he's ringing me tomorrow with a consultant appointment, we'll see what the consultant says - they reckon it will be in next couple of days as they dont wait with newborns x
  • My son was diagnosed with mild torticollis. He hasn't had any treatment as they said it will right itself in time.
  • thanks waitingforbee2, how mild was it? Henry's has got worse over the week, he doesnt really move his head to the left at all now. He can straighten up for feeding on the right breast but doesnt like to. We're going for urgent physio tomorrow. Hopefully as they see it a lot they'll be able to shed some light on how much might be needed. x
  • Hi Hun, I replied in Second time mums forum x
  • My son was breech and he had torticollis. I noticed the big lump (like a big grape) on his neck at about 3 weeks. The doctor wasn't too phased by it, but the pediatrician (who checked him at 5 weeks) sent him straight to a physio to have it sorted out. She gave us neck exercises and saw him once or twice a month until he was a year. An osteopath also saw him twice and that helped a lot. If you are vigilant with the exercises then it will right itself. The danger is that the child's face develops asymmetrically if untreated. If the doctor fobs you off and says its nothing to worry about, I would persevere and get a referral to a physio. (I live in South Africa so not too sure how the medical system handles this in the UK).
  • thanks foxinsocks. glad your little one is all sorted. we have had physio once and im doing the excercises. How much did you do them? They said every nappy change in the day. but with him being so young, he has his nappy done a lot and seems mean to do it every time. We probably do them 5 or 6 times a day, i have to move his head as far to the side he doesnt move it as possible, then ear to shoulder on the opposite side to stretch the damaged muscle. We're going back a fortnight from his first physio session. Have to say i hoped this would be sorted quickly with him being so young - but maybe we are looking at more like a year? might try and get the physio a bit closer to home if that's the case. They told me id get an osteopath appointment but received one for a neck ultrasound (don't think this is the same thing?) he's having that mid october. I just feel sad for him stuck on one side all the time. My freind brought her baby round who's two weeks older and she was grinning and moving her head all over the place, poor henry was laid next to her looking stuck image i know its sortable though x
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