• Georges L. Kaiser


The term “torticollis” may be defined narrowly or widely: In a narrower sense, it means congenital muscular torticollis; in this case, the sternomastoid muscle is involved and leads to a tilt of the head to the affected, a torsion to the contralateral side, and a chin elevation (Fig. 6.1).

In wider sense, torticollis includes all abnormal postures of the head: head tilt, face turn, and chin elevation or depression as single or combined features. This general term is important for a comprehensive differential diagnosis of congenital muscular torticollis because it is an abnormal head posture which attracts attention at the first glance in clinical practice.

A careful history and clinical examination including specific clinical skills are crucial for a preliminary differential diagnosis. Depending on the results, additional examinations must be performed. But the former serve not only for the differential diagnosis but also for follow-up and checking of the applied therapeutic measures if they are combined with standardized and reproducible methods of clinical examination and with corresponding quantitative results.


Cervical Spine Cervical Spine Injury Head Tilt Careful History Abnormal Posture 
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Sections 6.1.1–6.1.2

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Sections 6.2.1–6.2.2

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Section 6.2.5

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Section 6.2.6

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Section 6.2.7

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Section 6.2.8

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Section 6.2.9

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Georges L. Kaiser
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pediatric Surgery InselspitalUniversity of BerneBerneSwitzerland

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