Torticollis & Plagiocephaly: Management of Infants & Young Children

Laura Leimkuehler Mullin, Certified Prosthetist Orthotist

Susan A. Gaetani, PT, DPT (not pictured)
Cindy Miles, PT, PhD, PCS, CNDT
Regina A. Fenton, RN, MSN, CRNP
Laura L. Mullin, CPO


Torticollis & Plagiocephaly: Management of Infants & Young Children


Date: March 29 & 30, 2019

Location: University of Pittsburgh, Department of Physical Therapy

Bridgeside Point 1

100 Technology Drive

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

PT/OT Price: $375

*Early Bird Registration Until February 7: $350

Student Price: $150


All proceeds from this course will be donated to the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research as part of the Pitt-Marquette Challenge


Physical/Occupational Therapist: register-button-png-8

Student: register-button-png-8


 Sorry, but we are unable to issue refunds


Course Description

This 1.5-day course will present progressive, functional, clinically oriented evaluation and evidence-based treatment strategies relating to infants and young children’s body structures, activity levels and participation with the diagnosis of torticollis with and without plagiocephaly. Current evidence-based clinical pathways and guidelines for management of torticollis, movement impairments and infant head shape, including Clinical Practice Guidelines from APTA – Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy, will be discussed and incorporated.

Recommendations for follow-up and secondary specialist consultations will be presented. Attention will be made to family centered care and the caregiver’s understanding of the child’s health condition, ability to perform and participate with the interventions, and compliance to the home programs and follow-up recommendations. Differential diagnoses with identification of “Red Flags” that could affect the physical therapy plan of care and interventions will be discussed.

Learning opportunities for participants will transpire through lectures, case reports, and group discussion with the extensive use of pictures and videos.


Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the participants will be able to:

1. Identify the incidence, etiology, and pathophysiology of Congenital Muscular Torticollis as well as discuss the importance of early identification of infants and early referral for treatment through systematic screenings and evaluations by health care providers.

2. Relate current research and evidence-based strategies to identification, evaluation, intervention, discharge criteria, and follow-up strategies as defined by the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health.

3. Identify the impact of Torticollis on movement and associated body structures and function.

4. Identify the craniofacial impact of Torticollis and the role of the physical therapist to assess, provide intervention, and refer. Mandibular asymmetry, deformational plagiocephaly, brachycephaly, and cranial remolding therapy will be discussed.


Continuing Education Units

CEU’s for PT/OT: 11.5 (General)


Course Schedule

Friday, March 29, 2019

4:00 – 4:15 Registration

4:15 – 6:15 Etiology, Pathophysiology, Incidence

SIDS Research

> Health Policy Shift

> Sleep Position

Changing Symptomatology/Clinical Implications

Health Policy Shift-Impact on Development/Compensatory Postures

6:15 – 6:45 Break (light dinner provided)

6:45 – 8:30 Anatomy Review

Differential Diagnosis:

> Orthopaedic/Bony deformities (Sprengel’s deformity, Klippel Feil, Bone

tumors, Infections, Inflammation, Atlanto-Axial Rotatory Displacement (AARD)

> Neurological (Benign Paroxysmal torticollis; CNS tumors)

Associated Pathologies/Impairments

> Ocular Torticollis

> GERD/other GI (Sandifer syndrome)

> Hip Dysplasia

> Club foot

> Facial asymmetry/basic overview of plagiocephaly Mandibular Asymmetry

> Extension Bias/Hypotonia

> Toe Walking

Saturday, March 30, 2019

7:30 – 8:00 Registration

8:00-9:30 Developmental Components

> Treatment/Movement Components

Vision Development


> Documentation

> Goal Planning


9:30-9:45 Break

9:45-11:00 Plagiocephaly/Craniosynostosis/ Aggressive Repositioning (Regina Fenton, CRNP)

11:00-12:00 Cranial remolding devices/helmet therapy (Laura Mullen, CO)

12:00-12:45 Lunch (provided)

12:45-5:00* Assessment


Clinical Pathways/Protocols/Outcomes

Manual Stretching/Functional Range of Motion (Lab)

Functional Strengthening


Taping/Tot Collar/Botox/Surgical Indications


Clinical Decision Making/Follow-up


*One to two breaks will be provided throughout this time slot.


About the Speaker

Susan A. Gaetani, PT, DPT

Susan received her DPT from the MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston, MA in 2006. Susan began her career at Boston Children’s Hospital, practicing in both the acute care and outpatient ambulatory settings. She then practiced in the adult inpatient rehabilitation and hospital-based outpatient settings in the greater Boston area, while maintaining pediatric experience working with private pediatric clients. Susan returned to full-time pediatric practice at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh after relocating to Pittsburgh in 2010, where she launched a multi-disciplinary torticollis/deformational plagiocephaly clinic together with Cleft-Craniofacial Center colleague Regina Fenton, CRNP. Together they have completed research that has been presented nationally at both the APTA and ACPA conferences, as well as published a study regarding mandibular asymmetry associated with torticollis. Susan has provided numerous local and regional continuing education courses and lectures for therapists and pediatricians. She has established international PT relationships for research and clinical practice collaboration and has hosted international clinicians. Susan continues to pursue excellence and innovation in the field of Physical Therapy for patients with torticollis and plagiocephaly.

Cindy Miles, PT, PhD, PCS, CNDT

Having served the pediatric population since 1977, Cindy Miles, PT, PhD. PCS, CNDT established her pediatric private practice in 1981. Dr. Miles is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, School of Health-Related Professionals and East Stroudsburg University with a Master of Education in exercise physiology. She also holds a PhD in Pediatric Science from the Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions. Her doctoral research was on potential risk factors related to the diagnosis of Torticollis. She is Board Certified by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties as a Pediatric Clinical Specialist, specializing in treating children from birth through to young adults. Cindy completed the eight-week Pediatric Neurodevelopmental training course and the Advanced Infant course. Dr. Miles is serving as President of the Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy (APPT) and is presently the Co-Chair and Meeting Planner for the Academy’s Annual Conference (APPTAC). She held the titles of APPT Treasurer, Treasurer Elect and pediatric sports, fitness SIG chair. Dr. Miles presents nationally on pediatric private practice and reimbursement as well as nationally and internationally on Torticollis, Plagiocephaly, and Fitness for All Abilities. She has published in peer review journals and books on topics related to pediatric physical therapy. or

Regina A. Fenton, RN, MSN, CRNP

Regina received her BSN at the University of Pittsburgh in 1978 and her Master’s Degree in Nursing at the University of Pittsburgh in 1998.  She is certified through the American Nursing Certification Center (ANCC) as a Family Nurse Practitioner. Initially, she practiced as a CRNP in adult neurology at the VA.  She has always been intrigued by pediatrics and she accepted a position at CHP in Pediatric Neurology. For the past thirteen years she has been working in the Cleft-Craniofacial Center in the Plastic Surgery Department.

She has always been involved in research as well as her clinical duties and she is currently the PI for several research projects in the Cleft-Craniofacial Center.  She has been invited to speak to locally, nationally at

the American Cleft Palate Association and at the International ACPA. She has been promoted to Expert, CRNP and she has published several articles in peer reviewed journals.

Laura L. Mullin, CPO

Laura is the Director of Pediatrics at Union Orthotics & Prosthetics Co. which expands all of Western Pennsylvania. She received her Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine’s Orthotics & Prosthetics Program. She completed her residency at Children’s Memorial Hospital (currently Lurie Children’s Hospital) in Chicago and continued to specialize in pediatric orthotic management over her 15-year career. She returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh in 2008. With a passion for Cranial remolding orthotic management, Union Orthotics & Prosthetics Co, has grown to be the largest provider in the state of Pennsylvania. Laura regularly presents regionally on cranial remolding management to increase education and awareness to optimize outcomes.

January 20, 2019 |