torticollis — The Bump
Preemies

torticollis

anyone have experience dealing with torticollis?

We have been worried because Avery has a tendency to keep her head tilted to the right side. I asked my dr about it at the latest check up and he thinks she has a  mild case of torticollis and may need physical therapy.

 I called EI to have them come re-evaluate her to see if she qualifies for PT services. They are saying it could be a couple weeks before anyone can come. In the meantime, does anyone have any tips for exercises to do with her or any advice you can offer?

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My preemies Avery Grace & Ethan Michael were born at 27wk5d at 2 lb 4 oz and 2 lb 2 oz respectively. Avery spent 70 days in the NICU. Ethan spent 250 days in the hospital and underwent several surgeries before finally coming home!



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Re: torticollis

  • Gabe has tort.  You should probably wait for the p/t to show you how to stretch her because there is a certain way to do it.  It isn't hard.  In your case it would be left ear to left the shoulder and turn head/chin to right shoulder.  When you do the ear to shoulder you have to hold their shoulder down and only stretch until you see the muscles pop out (if you go further you can damage the muscles). 

    Anyway,  Gabe responded to p/t well.  Now that he is sitting unassisted his tort has re-emerged (it probably will once he starts crawling too).  A diagnosis of tort is an automatic qualification for most EI programs.

    Is she getting a flat head from it?  If she is you can roll a blanket and prop her on the opposite side to help the flatness from getting worse.  

    Feel free to ask more questions.  Gabe did really well with p/t.  His head (which was headed for a helmet) reshaped from the rolled blanket and p/t. 

    If you can keep your LO out of: car seats, rnp, swing, bouncer, etc. as much as possible.  I am sure that will be harder for you since you have 2.  But that was HUGE for us.  When they are in a seated position their heads lean to their tight side and it just makes it keep getting worse. 

    Born at 31w3d due to severe IUGR & Placental Insufficiency--2lbs 3ounces
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  • One of mine is going to PT right now once every 2 weeks they give you stretches to work on it has done wonder's for him, We are headed to the helmet though for head shape because he still has trouble wanting to sleep on his "favorite" side. We put bumpers(a stuffed rolled sock) in his car seat/etc to get him to look on the other side. Good Luck and hopefully you get to start PT soon
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  • Ian has tort (Jack was spared). We did P/T every other week for 4 months, then we went to once a month, now we're on a re-check basis. He's responded really well. He just started sitting/crawling and I haven't noticed it reemerge (which, as PP post mentioned is a possibility when they're focusing on learning new skills).

    He had a helmet for just under 3 months which he responded to like a champ. I was told by the brace shop we ordered the helmet from (and got checked every 3 weeks at) that being a preemie has advantages for helmet therapy. Since preemies grow a little faster in order to catch up with their full-term counterparts, they can sometimes see enough growth to get them out of helmets more quickly. Ian was projected to need it for 4 months and he was done before hitting the 3 month mark.

    PP mentioned some other good things to try to keep your DD off of the back of her head. Give her as much tummy time as you can (and any time she's off the back of her head qualifies as tummy time in this setting). If you can prevent a flat spot, it would be best because helmet therapy is expensive. GL!

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  • thank you ladies so much! I will definitely make sure I try some of the tips for positioning her while she sleeps and will try to give her as much tummy time as possible. Hopefully we can get PT started soon!

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    Lilypie Premature Baby tickers


    My preemies Avery Grace & Ethan Michael were born at 27wk5d at 2 lb 4 oz and 2 lb 2 oz respectively. Avery spent 70 days in the NICU. Ethan spent 250 days in the hospital and underwent several surgeries before finally coming home!



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