Floppy Head Specialists

The Metropolitan Neurosurgery Group -  - Neurosurgery

The Metropolitan Neurosurgery Group

Neurosurgery located in Silver Spring, MD

A floppy head develops when you have poor muscle tone or an underlying health condition that interferes with nerve and muscle function. The board-certified neurosurgeons at The Metropolitan Neurosurgery Group in Silver Spring, Maryland, have years of experience determining an accurate diagnosis and providing individualized treatments to restore your muscle strength and repair structural neck problems. To get the expert care you need for your floppy head symptoms, call the office today.

Floppy Head Q & A

What Causes a Floppy Head?

A floppy head develops when you or your child have poor muscle tone, a condition called hypotonia. Hypotonia may be a primary condition or a symptom of an underlying condition.

Hypotonia is associated with conditions that affect your nerves and muscles, such as:

  • Connective tissue disorders (Ehlers-Danlos syndrome)
  • Down syndrome
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Motor neuron disease
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Polymyositis
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Prader-Willi syndrome
  • Myotonic dystrophy
  • Tay-Sachs disease

You can also develop hypotonia following a traumatic injury, especially if you suffer a brain or spinal cord injury.

What Symptoms Develop in Addition to a Floppy Head?

Infants with hypotonia often have more than a floppy head; their entire body has a floppy quality, with symptoms such as:

  • No control of their neck muscles (causing a floppy head)
  • Feeling limp when held
  • Inability to put weight on their legs
  • Arms and legs hang straight down rather than bending at the joints
  • Difficulty sucking and swallowing

Children with hypotonia typically take longer than normal to reach developmental milestones such as sitting up, crawling, talking, and walking.

Adults with hypotonia experience:

  • Clumsiness
  • Mobility problems
  • Difficulty lifting objects
  • Balance problems and falling
  • Hypermobility in their hips, elbows, and knees

You may also have a hard time getting up when you’re sitting or lying down.

How is a Floppy Head Treated?

Your provider at The Metropolitan Neurosurgery Group conducts a thorough physical exam, including an assessment of your balance, reflexes, motor and sensory skills, and nerve function. Depending on the results of your exam, they may order additional diagnostic tests such as a CT or MRI scan, or electrodiagnostic studies.

In addition to treating the underlying condition when possible, they develop a customized plan to treat your symptoms. For example, you may need physical therapy, occupational therapy, or neck support.

What is Dropped Head Syndrome?

Older adults may develop dropped head syndrome when weak muscles make it hard to lift their heads. This condition often signals an underlying condition, such as:

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Mixed connective tissue disease
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Inflammatory myopathies
  • Metabolic myopathies
  • Dystrophic myopathies
  • Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy

After starting the appropriate treatment for your underlying condition, your The Metropolitan Neurosurgery Group provider may recommend physical therapy, supporting your neck with a collar, or surgical intervention to decompress the nerves, correct the deformity, and stabilize the bones.

If you need help with your floppy head symptoms, call The Metropolitan Neurosurgery Group.