[Pediatric intervertebral disc calcification: A rare cause of acquired torticollis. Case report]

Rev Chil Pediatr. 2015 May-Jun;86(3):200-5. doi: 10.1016/j.rchipe.2015.03.002. Epub 2015 Jul 16.
[Article in Spanish]


Introduction: Pain and cervical muscle spasm are common reasons why parents bring children to the pediatric emergency department. The first steps are the gathering of medical history of the patient and a physical examination. If musculoskeletal damage is suspected, cervical spine x-rays should be obtained. An intervertebral disc calcification finding, in the absence of other radiological lesions should suggest pediatric intervertebral disc calcification.

Objective: To present a case of intervertebral disc calcification, a rare condition that must be considered in the differential diagnosis of torticollis and neck pain in childhood.

Case report: A seven-year-old male patient without morbid history and no history of trauma or rough sport practice. He consulted the emergency room for pain and cervical contracture for the last six days. C reactive protein and red cell sedimentatio rates were slightly elevated. Imaging studies showed calcification of the C5-C6 intrvertebral disc and anterior disc protrusion. The patient was hospitalized for evaluation and pain management, with good clinical response and continue afterwards with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and a soft collar. At the 6-month-follow up, the patient had resolved symptoms and calcifications.

Conclusions: Pediatric intervertebral disc calcification is a rare cause of acquired torticollis, with a benign and self-limited outcome. Conservative management, as well as clinical and imaging follow-up is recommended.

Keywords: Calcificación; Calcification; Disc pathology; Disco inervertebral; Discopatía; Intervertebral disc; Torticollis; Tortícolis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Calcinosis / complications
  • Calcinosis / diagnosis*
  • Calcinosis / pathology
  • Cervical Vertebrae / pathology
  • Child
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Intervertebral Disc / pathology
  • Male
  • Neck Pain / etiology
  • Torticollis / diagnosis
  • Torticollis / etiology*
  • Torticollis / pathology


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal