The incidence and characteristics of torticollis, plagiocephaly and facial asymmetry were evaluated prospectively by photographic analysis in 102 healthy newborn infants in a study at University of California, San Diego. Asymmetries of craniofacial development affecting 73% of newborns included torticollis in 16%, asymmetrical mandible in 13%, facial asymmetry in 42%, and asymmetry of the head in 61%. Malposition of head and neck in utero for 6 weeks or more before delivery was associated with torticollis; larger babies, birth trauma and long labor with facial asymmetry; and birth trauma with plagiocephaly. Identification of affected newborns should prompt positioning recommendations to prevent secondary craniofacial deformities. [1]

COMMENT. Early detection of torticollis by neck range of motion assessment at birth may prompt physiotherapy and head positioning that will prevent posterior plagiocephaly.