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What is Craniosynostosis

 
The skull of an infant is made up of free-floating bones separated by fibers called sutures. This allows the infant's head to pass through the birth canal and also enables the skull to grow with the brain in early infancy.

Premature fusing of the sutures is called craniosynostosis, which restricts skull growth. The cause of premature fusion is unknown. Synostosis is the union of two or more bones to form single bone.

craniosynostosis

DIAGNOSIS OF CRANIOSYNOSTOSIS

Diagnosis begins with an examination by a neurosurgeon and or craniofacial surgeon. A distorted head at birth does not always result from craniosynostosis. The initial history involves questions about abnormal fetal position, which can cause positional deformities. The physical examination involves carefully feeling the skull for suture ridges and soft spots, or fontanelles, and checking for neck position and other deformities. Measurements are taken of the child's face and head. Normally CT and/or MRI Scans of the brain are ordered since they provide the most reliable method of diagnosing early suture fusion. These scans are needed when planning the surgical correction.

Is Craniosynostosis Cosmetic?

Definitely Not! Without a doubt the answer is NO! 

People that had no understanding and little research supporting them, may attempt to justify or battle to understand why an abnormal head shape could be a concern.

To understand why Craniosynostosis is not cosmetic and would need reconstructive surgery is to prevent and possible consequences to the child if corrective surgery is not performed:-

Potential Risks:-

  • Learning delays can result from intracranial pressure(ICP)

  • Eyesight problems

  • Hearing problems

  • Speech problems

  • Feeding issues

  • Hydrocephalous (an abnormal collection of fluid on the brain which can lead to pressure if untreated.)

  • Seizures

  • Psychological effects throughout childhood leading into adulthood due to a different cosmetic look than  the norm

If a Medical professional or Medical Aid Company attempts to use the term cosmetic when referring to Craniosynostosis always remember this fact!

“The definition of a Cosmetic procedure is a procedure that will change the normal structure and features of the body in order to improve appearance.   However reconstructive procedure is performed where there is malformation or abnormal structure, and performed in order to improve function, or assist to return it to a normal state.”

What are the warning signs of Craniosynostosis?

The most common sign of craniosynostosis is malformation of an Infants skull. Although, many infants are born with an abnormal head shape, due to natural birth or forceps, this should correct within six weeks following the birth.

When an abnormal head shape persists, or is not noticed until six weeks old, the cause needs to be determined. 

 Another possible sign of Craniosynostosis is a protruding ridge along the skull where the suture has closed.  However is only a single suture is fused your only symptom would be an irregular shaped head.

However, should there be severe skull and facial malformation; this would indicate the severity of the Craniosynostosis depicting more than one suture closing too early. This would significantly restrict the skull's ability to expand as the brain grows leading to raised intracranial pressure. 

Indication and possible warning signs of raised intracranial could include Vomiting, becoming lethargic, sleeping more, and playing less. Irritability because of head pain. Developing swollen eyes, problems moving the eyes or following objects.  Breathing noisily or have periods of not breathing (apnea). When the pressure is very severe, it may cause brain damage and other problems, including seizures, blindness, and developmental delays. Untreated craniosynostosis may lead to long-term disabilities of different forms.

 
 
Surgery stories
    

Cameron Rondi
Cameron Mark Rondi was born on the 10th of March at Olivedale Hospital. When he was born he was diagnosed with Craniosynosis, it was picked up at birth as he was born with facial distortion ...

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Blake Campbell
Blakes surgery day was 4 April 2006...

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Azia-lynn
(not so) little Azia-lynn is born 1 week early (on her original due date!) 8lb 15oz and 21 inches...

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Tiaan Heyns
Tiaan was diagnosed with Sagittal Synostosis at six weeks of age.

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Chris-Lee - Our Miracle Child
In January 2007 after several tests and treatment – I was told that I will not be able to have children. 

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Claire Badden

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For more information or support, please contact Robyn Rondi on - robyn.rondi@hotmail.com  or  082 601 8585