Torticollis is a condition in which the neck is twisted so that the crown of the head faces one direction and the chin faces in the other direction. Torticollis can be inherited or it can develop at any age. Babies can be born with torticollis due to positioning within the womb or a difficult or improperly handled birth. Children and adults can develop torticollis due to an accident or even sleeping in a position that twists the neck. If torticollis has developed as a result of medical malpractice, torticollis lawyers may be able to help.
Torticollis Lawyers Assistance
Lawyers that specialize in cases of torticollis may be able to provide greater assistance to parents of children suffering from the condition than lawyers that do not specialize in this field. Proving that medical malpractice was the cause of torticollis or conditions resulting from torticollis may require an expert degree of understanding of the condition and the laws surrounding medical malpractice. If torticollis was caused by negligence or medical errors, torticollis lawyers may be able to help recover medical costs associated with the delayed treatment.
Malpractice Caused Torticollis
Torticollis is caused by a shortened sternocleidomastoid muscle. Positioning within the womb or malpractice during delivery are common causes of this condition at birth. The use of forceps or vacuum devices during delivery greatly increases the baby’s risk of developing torticollus. Torticollis may also develop if the baby is positioned similarly within the first few months of life, as the muscles and tendons begin to shrink on one side and expand on the other to accommodate the similar positioning.
Delayed Torticollis Diagnosis
Pediatricians should be diligent about testing babies for torticollis, as the condition is much easier to treat when it is detected earlier. If a parent suspects that a baby has torticollis, physicians may be able to diagnose the condition by performing a simple test to determine how far the baby can turn his or her head. If this test is inconclusive, MRIs, CT scans, or EMGs may be used to diagnose the condition. If a physician fails to test for the condition after parents have expressed concern, torticollis lawyers may be able to assist the parents in recovering medical costs for treating torticollus, as well as any conditions that have developed as a result of the delayed diagnosis.
Untreated Torticollis Complications
Babies that have torticollis for an extended period in which treatment is not administered may have complications with jaw development and eye movement. Babies may have limited head and neck mobility and the head or side of the face may begin to flatten. Respiratory function may also be affected by the unnatural angle of the head. Physicians that have not begun treatment by the time that these developmental issues become present may be held liable for negligence by torticollus lawyers.
If torticollis is diagnosed in early stages, gentle stretching exercises or specific positioning may be effective in treating the condition. Heat and massages may also help to loosen the tensed muscle and assist with treatment. If these treatments are ineffective or if a delay in diagnosis has caused a more severe case of torticollis, surgery may be necessary to correct the condition. During surgery, the tense sternocleidomastoid muscle will be lengthened to allow a broader range of motion.
Parents that have a child that has suffered developmental disorders and pain as a result of torticollis misdiagnosis or medical malpractice during delivery may be entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering as well as the costs of treatment. Torticollis lawyers may be able to provide advice pertaining to what information must be gathered and the necessary time frame for a case under statute of limitations laws. Torticollis lawyers will also be able to provide the medical and legal knowledge needed to successfully hold a physician or medical facility liable for malpractice or negligence that caused the condition.
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“Torticollis.” Medline Plus. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 26 Feb 2014. Web. 1 Apr 2014. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000749.htm