Craniosynostosis

Miranda Gillespie

Causes

The official causes are unknown but studies show that some of the main causes are changes in the fetus's genes, abnormality in a single gene, which can cause a genetic syndrome, combination of genes and other factors like things the mother comes in contact with in her environment such as things she eats or drinks and certain medications the mother has been taking.

Symptoms/ Characteristics

Symptoms of Craniosynostosis include:

An abnormally shaped skull, no "soft spot" on the baby's skull, a raised firm edge where the sutures closed early, and slow growth or no growth in the baby's head growth over time.

Treatment

Many types of craniosynostosis require surgery. The surgical procedure is meant to relieve pressure on the brain, correct the craniosynostosis, and allow the brain to grow properly. When needed, a surgical procedure is usually performed during the first year of life. But, the timing of surgery depends on which sutures are closed and whether the baby has one of the genetic syndromes that can cause craniosynostosis. Babies with very mild craniosynostosis might not need surgery. As the baby gets older and grows hair, the shape of the skull can become less noticeable. Sometimes, special medical helmets can be used to help mold the baby’s skull into a more regular shape.

Each baby born with craniosynostosis is different, and the condition can range from mild to severe. Most babies with craniosynostosis are otherwise healthy. Some children, however, have developmental delays or intellectual disabilities, because either the craniosynostosis has kept the baby’s brain from growing and working normally, or because the baby has a genetic syndrome that caused both craniosynostosis and problems with how the brain works.

Life Expectancy

Children with Craniosynostosis typically have a normal life expectancy.

Special Facts

- After birth, abnormal head shape is most commonly a result of gravity, when the patient lies in one position for long periods of time.

- Molding and changes of head usually normalizes within one to two weeks after birth. Normal craniofacial growth occurs through two processes: bone displacement and bone remodeling.

- Complete fusion of the bones normally occurs late in the teen years.