OBJECTIVE To investigate the therapeutic method and effectiveness of multiple sternocleidomastoid head amputation for adult congenital muscular torticollis. METHODS Between March 2009 and February 2011, 19 patients with congenital muscular torticollis were treated with multiple sternocleidomastoid head amputation. There were 13 males and 6 females, aged 16-32 years (mean, 23.5 years). The X-ray films showed that 12 cases were accompanied with some extent cervical lateral bending and wedge change. Ten patients were with ipsilateral facial bradygenesis. Four patients had received single sternocleidomastoid head amputation. All of the 19 patients were treated with multiple sternocleidomastoid head amputation, then plaster support and neck collar were used after operation for 3-6 months. RESULTS The wounds of all the 19 patients healed primarily, without infection or hematoma. Sixteen patients were followed up 5 months to 2 years (mean, 8 months). The head and neck malformations were ameliorated significantly. The effectiveness was assessed 2 weeks later, in 7 patients without cervical vertebral malformation results were excellent; in 12 patients with cervical vertebral malformation, the results were excellent in 1 case, good in 7 cases, and fair in 4 cases. The length between mastoid process and sternoclavicular joints was elongated (1.88 +/- 0.30) cm significantly after operation in patients without cervical vertebral malformation (t = 6.24, P = 0.00), showing no significant difference when compared with normal value (t = 1.87, P = 0.11); the length was elongated (3.38 +/- 0.30) cm significantly (t = 11.37, P = 0.00) after operation in patients with cervical vertebral malformation, but it was significant shorter than normal value (t = 12.19, P = 0.00). CONCLUSION Multiple sternocleidomastoid head amputation is a safe and effective method for adult congenital muscular torticollis, which can improve the neck rotation function.