Normally, narrow spaces exist between the bones that make up a baby's skull. These spaces are called sutures, and they allow for the rapidly-growing brain of a baby to increase in size without restriction.

In children with craniosynostosis, one or more of these sutures closes too early. This can restrict normal brain growth and cause abnormal head shape. Pressure inside of the skull can sometimes increase.

Abnormal head shape is the most common, and often the only, sign of craniosynostosis. Depending on which sutures is fused, the skull may become triangle-shaped with a ridge in the middle of the forehead, or long and narrow, or asymmetric with flattened forehead on one side, or very flat and broad.

Craniosynostosis can often be confused with plagiocephaly, a flattening of the skull that develops when a baby has a preference for laying on one side of the head over another. Your pediatrician can help determine if abnormal skull shape is due to craniosynostosis or plagiocephaly.

Craniosynostosis usually does require surgery to open the closed suture and reshape the skull to allow for normal, unrestricted brain growth. This surgery is performed at 9-12 months. This surgery is done by Dr. Biskup, a craniofacial fellowship-trained plastic surgeon, and Dr. Dickerson, a neurosurgeon.

Below is a useful resource for parents and families of children with craniosynostosis that will hopefully answer some questions and ease concerns.

Guide for Craniosynostosis >

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