Helmet treatment for plagiocephaly and congenital muscular torticollis

J Pediatr. 1979 Jan;94(1):43-6. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(79)80347-9.


Plagiocephaly usually originates in late fetal life through aberrant constraint of the fetal head and is often associated with sternocleidomastoid torticollis. In some patients the obligue head shape may become a permanent, cosmetic disability. Individually fitted plastic helmets, similar in style to football helmets, have been successfully used to remold the deformed heads of four infants. Each helmet is designed to fit snugly against the prominent aspects of the infants' cranium and to be loose fitting where the head is shallow. As the brain grows, the head is molded to fit the helmet and thus acquires a more usual shape. The treatment has been safe and effective. When torticollis is persistent after the initiation of treatment, rubber straps can be fixed to the outside of the helmet and attached to the side rails of the crib. While the infant sleeps, the straps can be tightened to stretch the shortened sternocleidomastoid muscle.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Casts, Surgical
  • Head
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Methods
  • Restraint, Physical
  • Skull / abnormalities*
  • Torticollis / congenital*
  • Torticollis / therapy