Craniosynostosis refers to a birth defect of the skull where one or more of the sutures between the bones of a baby’s skull close prematurely, prior to the brain being fully developed. Babies with this condition usually have a head that is misshapen because their brain is unable to grow and form a natural shape. The development of craniosynostosis can be attributed to certain factors that a baby’s skull goes through or is exposed to before or after birth. They can include descending into the pelvis, if the mother’s uterus is abnormally shaped, being in an odd fetal position, or if the mother is having multiple babies at once (twin, triplets, etc.). An abnormal head shape that occurs after birth is most commonly due to gravity.
Craniosynostosis can also be genetically linked, or be a result of metabolic diseases such as overactive thyroid. An abnormally shaped skull is the first sign of craniosynostosis. Other characteristics or symptoms of the disorder are developmental delays or cognitive impairment. In some cases of craniosynostosis, blindness and seizures can also occur in patients. CT scans are usually taken to diagnose and determine if an abnormal skull shape is craniosynostosis, versus a result of birth trauma.
When it comes to treating craniosynostosis, surgery is generally necessary, especially in more severe cases of the condition. Surgery helps to improve the proportion and appearance of the head, as well as to alleviate pressure on the brain. For patients with milder cases, cranial molds can help restructure the skull in order to enable brain growth and improved overall appearance of the head. BASIC can help evaluate the best option for your child.