Babies with torticollis normally have misshapen necks or difficulty moving their heads. However, medical tests can help diagnose the condition. There are numerous ways to detect torticollis. For parents wondering, “How do I know if my baby has torticollis?” the telltale symptoms include:
- Preference for one breast over the other during feedings. If the baby is predisposed to one breast and struggles with the other side, this can be a sign of torticollis.
- Difficulty when twisting their neck to look at you.
- Showing signs of irritation or frustration when they cannot move their head in a full rotation.
- Continually looking over the same shoulder, rather than turning their neck to watch you with their eyes.
- A tendency to tilt their head in a single direction. This symptom is easier to observe in older infants and can be harder to spot in newborns.
- Flat Head Syndrome or Positional Plagiocephaly.
Studies by Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital show that torticollis is relatively common in newborns. They also report that the injury, sometimes referred to as wryneck, may result in zero pain for the child.
Many of the symptoms above are detectable with the proper examination. Therefore, it is advisable for parents who suspect their infants are suffering from the injury to consult with a doctor.
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Flat Head Syndrome as an Indication of Torticollis
Flat Head Syndrome is a persistent flat spot that can occur on the back or on one side of the baby’s head. The syndrome, which can develop from torticollis, displays in the following ways:
- An uneven forehead
- When the case is severe, the head may begin to bulge on the side opposing the flattened area
- A lack of hair on the affected area
- When the syndrome affects the side of the head, the ear closest to the flattened side may protrude forward
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Some forms of torticollis respond to stretching techniques, and symptoms may improve on their own. Parents may be able to employ at-home stretching techniques, or the infant may require more extensive physical therapy at a licensed facility. When symptoms do not subside with these treatments, muscle-release surgery might be necessary.
Causes of Torticollis
Research at Cedars-Sinai suggests that no one understands what causes torticollis in some infants, but not in others. Though there is no way to predict which infants will develop this condition, there are some factors that may increase their likelihood. For example, pressure in the birth canal from prolonged labor may play a role.
Many cases of torticollis seem to occur as a direct result of rough handling practices by the attending medical staff during birth. This could include using forceps and vacuum extraction tools incorrectly or when they are not necessary.
Holding Medical Staff Responsible for Your Baby’s Torticollis
Although the cause of torticollis can be difficult to identify, it is feasible that medical staff may be held liable for the injury.
If you decide to retain a birth injury attorney, they can investigate the cause of the injuries and attempt to prove liability with the help of evidence and expert testimony. If a medical professional or hospital is liable for the condition, they may be required to compensate you for your infant’s treatment and pain and suffering.
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Infant Torticollis Lawyers Fighting for Victims of Medical Malpractice
Here at the Birth Injury Lawyers Group, our attorneys work with victims of medical malpractice related to birth injuries. When you ask, “How do I know if my baby has torticollis?” our legal team can do our best to point you in the right direction. After all, the more educated you become about the condition, the clearer the cause may become.
When your child’s injuries occur because of negligent medical staff, we believe you should be able to hold them accountable for the losses your family has suffered. While every state has unique laws and guidelines on recoverable damages, you may be able to seek compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish.
- Treatment of ongoing disabilities.
At the end of the day, the Birth Injury Lawyers Group is here to assist you with your legal proceedings so you can focus on the health of your baby. We will fight to help protect your right to compensation.
To learn more about our services at the Birth Injury Lawyers Group, contact a representative today at (800) 222-9529 to receive your free consultation.