Craniosynostosis is a medical condition in newborns wherein the sutures of two or more of the seven bones in the skull fuse prematurely. Apparent signs of this congenital deformity are the abnormal shape of the skull and/or forehead with possible asymmetry of the eyes, ears, or both.
Your child’s pediatrician can help distinguish between craniosynostosis and plagiocephaly, a head shape deformity that occurs after your child is born and is usually the result of positioning (in a car seat, in the crib, etc). Unlike craniosynostosis, which is treated with surgery, plagiocephaly can be treated using positioning techniques, physicial therapy, and potentially a special, custom-made helmet for your child.
Types of Craniosynostosis
An X-ray or CT scan helps to determine the type of craniosynostosis and allows the Dr. Hall to properly diagnose individual conditions. The following are the four main types of craniosynostosis:
- Metopic Synostosis – forms a narrow and triangular forehead with lateral pinching of temples.
- Coronal Synostosis – deformities may include the eye, nose and forehead. Reconstructive surgery involves remodeling of the forehead and reshaping of the brows to achieve a natural and symmetrical appearance of the face.
- Sagittal Synostosis – the skull appears long and narrow with or without bulging of both the front and back of the head. Reconstruction involves removal of the suture and opening up the coronal and lambdoid sutures for widening the skull.
- Multiple Suture Synostosis – Multiple surgical techniques may be required to control intracranial pressure. This can otherwise affect the eyes and cause severe brain abnormalities.
The Craniosynostosis Treatment Procedure
Craniosynostosis is best treated before your child turns one year old. This allows the reshaped skull to continue to grow, and can relieve pressure on the growing brain. Dr. Hall performs craniosynostosis correction surgery in conjunction with a pediatric neurosurgeon, and will reshape the bones of the skull to a more normal position.
Your child will spend a few days in the hospital after their surgery, with one night spent in the intensive care unit for close observation. There will be some swelling of the face and head that quickly resolves over the course of the first week. Pain is minimal and it typically controlled easily with oral pain medications.
If you have any questions about Knoxville craniosynostosis treatment, surgery for your child or would like to meet with Dr. Hall to discuss your options, call 865.973.9500 or use our contact form and request an appointment. For out of town patients, feel free to request an online consult via Skype.