New Jersey Infant Torticollis Lawyers
Infant torticollis (from the Latin words for “twisted” and “neck”) is a medical condition that can result in your infant tilting or holding her or his head to one side, as well as difficulty turning the head to the opposite side. Torticollis typically develops at birth or shortly thereafter. You or your doctor may discover the condition within the first six to eight weeks after your infant is born. Torticollis can be congenital—meaning your baby was born with it—or it may be caused by trauma during the labor and delivery process.
Although your doctor and the healthcare providers responsible for handling the birth of your child are required to meet and uphold the proper standard of care, they may fail to do so. When these events occur, causing birth injuries like infant torticollis, you may seek compensation and hold negligent medical professionals accountable through litigation. If you suspect that your baby’s torticollis was caused by medical negligence during birth, contact our experienced team of New Jersey Birth Injury Attorneys for a free evaluation of your case. We can evaluate the circumstances of your child’s birth and outline the potential legal avenues that may be available to you. Consultations are absolutely free, so don’t hesitate to call (866)-708-8617 today.
What is Infant Torticollis?
Infant torticollis, also known as spasmodic torticollis or cervical dystonia, is a relatively common condition affecting both female and male infants. Pressure placed on an infant’s neck muscles either during labor and delivery or after birth can result in symptoms like the infant tilting her or his head to one side, development of a flattened back of the head on the side they favor, or a small lump associated with a tight muscle in the infant’s neck. Your infant may also experience headaches, neck pain, neck muscle stiffness, and/or head tremors. Essentially, these symptoms occur because the muscles in the neck are contracting involuntarily, creating an instability in the neck and head. If treated, many of the symptoms of torticollis can resolve or be minimized to improve quality of life.
Potential Causes of Infant Torticollis
It can be difficult to identify the exact cause of infant torticollis. The condition can be genetic, present from birth without any cause related to medical error. Torticollis can also result from tumors, tonsillitis, accidents like falls, and even too much time spent lying flat on surfaces. That said, infant torticollis can also result from complications during labor and delivery. If an infant twists into an abnormal position in the uterus, finds itself in a breech position, or if it is delivered through the use of forceps or vacuum devices, these complications can increase the risk that the infant will develop torticollis. Complications like those noted above can place undue pressure on an infant’s sternocleidomastoid muscle, causing it to tighten and making it harder for the infant to turn her or his neck. In many cases, a doctor’s failure to appropriately identify or address risk factors for birth injuries can lay the groundwork for infant torticollis to occur. Similarly, using improper maneuvers to deliver a baby in an abnormal position, or attempting to deliver a child vaginally, can lead to neck and head injuries with lasting impacts.
Treatments for Infant Torticollis
If a physician identifies that your infant has torticollis, that physician may teach you some stretching exercises that will relax the tight muscle in your infant’s neck. Your physician may encourage you to help your infant perform these stretches several times per day to reduce muscle tightness and to stretch out the affected muscles in your infant’s neck. You can also encourage your child to avoid lying on its back to reduce pressure on the head. Your doctor may also recommend an appointment with a qualified physical therapist or even the use of a helmet to correct any abnormalities in an infant’s developing head shape. A more recent treatment option involves injecting botulinum toxin (botox) into the affected muscles to reduce muscle contractions and other symptoms. In fewer cases, surgery may be recommended to correct the underlying issue.
Want to File a Lawsuit for Torticollis Birth Injury in New Jersey?
If complications arise such as torticollis, and you believe that medical errors during the labor and delivery process may have caused your infant’s neck injury, you should consult an attorney experienced in bringing birth injury claims. Our legal team can help you help you bring a medical malpractice claim if doctors or other healthcare providers were responsible for causing your child’s condition. Our medical malpractice lawyers assist children and families throughout the New Jersey area with birth injury claims. We will aggressively pursue maximum compensation for your child’s medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages. Contact us at (866)-708-8617 to learn more.
Infant Torticollis, Johns Hopkins Medicine
What Is Torticollis? Acquired & Congenital, WebMD