What is Craniosynotosis and how does it affect your baby?
Craniosynostosis is a rare condition found in around three in 10,000 live births, which affects how the bones in the skull grow. Translated from Greek, ‘cranio’ means head, and ‘synostosis’ means fusion.
Craniosynostosis is the premature fusion of one or more of the joints (sutures) between the bone plates that make up your baby’s skull. These sutures are normally flexible to allow both the natural birth process and remain open during growth to allow the brain to grow develop naturally within the skull casing. Over time as brain growth completes, the sutures fuse naturally to form a protective bone casing around the brain. In the case of a synostosis, one or more of these sutures fuses together prematurely, causing the head to develop an unusual shape as the skull is unable to grow properly.
This condition can be confused with Plagiocephaly, and other variants of flat head syndrome, as they both result in a skull deformation. Craniosynostosis cannot solely be treated by corrective helmets as surgery is usually needed to correct the plates of the skull. Sometimes, a helmet can be used to bring about further correction after surgery.
Craniosynostosis often occurs by chance with no definitive cause. Craniosynostosis is usually classified as either:
NONSYNDROMIC – there are no other birth defects and the cause is unknown.
SYNDROMIC– the result of one of several rare syndromes.
A syndrome is a range of symptoms related to a common cause, which is usually – but not always – genetic.
The condition means the skull is unable to grow in affected areas. When one area of the skull is prevented from growing, other areas may “overgrow” to compensate and create pressure developing around the brain. A lack of growth in some areas and compensatory growth in other areas will result in an altered head shape.
Craniosynostosis is a feature of many different genetic syndromes that have a variety of inheritance patterns, depending on the specific syndrome present. It is important for the child as well as family members to be examined carefully for signs of a syndromic cause (inherited genetic disorder) of Craniosynostosis such as limb defects, ear abnormalities, or cardiovascular malformations.
There are a number of genetic conditions linked with Craniosynostosis. These include:
- Crouzon’s syndrome
- Apert syndrome
- Pfeiffer syndrome
- Saethre-Chotzen syndrome
- Cranio-fronto-nasal dysplasia
The key to treating Craniosynostosis is early detection and treatment. Some forms of Craniosynostosis can affect the brain and development of a child. The degree of the problems is dependent on the severity of the Craniosynostosis, the number of sutures that are fused, and the presence of brain or other organ system problems that could affect the child. If you are concerned about your baby’ head shape, contact Technology in Motion on 0330 100 1800 or visit Technology in Motion to find you nearest clinic. Technology in Motion cannot treat Craniosynostosis but can help determine the severity of a baby’s head deformity and decide the best treatment for you and your baby.