Craniosynostosis is a skull malformation where one or more bone plates have fused prematurely. It is easily confused with plagiocephaly due to deformational molding, which can occur when a baby sleeps in the same position repeatedly or due to torticollis. It is important to distinguish the diagnosis because it can cause brain growth problems and optimal treatment should occur before the age of one. Patients with craniosynostosis (CSS) managed at FCI are carefully screened using clinical exams and anthropometric measurements, under a comprehensive team approach. Rarely, skull x-rays or a CT scan is required. We believe in the “image gently” campaign and strive to minimize radiation to our patients.
Although most often kids with CSS are otherwise healthy and have no family history, genes may play a role. There are blood tests that can be performed to see if there is a mutation of EFNB1, FGFR1, FGFR2, FGFR3, TWIST, which are commonly involved in craniofacial syndromes like Apert, Crouzon, Carpenter, Pfeiffer and Chotzen Syndromes. Patients with CSS can have orbital problems, sleep apnea, and jaw growth problems, and are best managed in a team environment. That is why FCI has partnered with St. Joseph’s Craniofacial Center to better serve our patients.
We will discuss your child’s options and assist you to make an informed decision about treatment. Typically this is coordinated with a pediatric neurosurgeon, to maximize the benefits, and minimize the risks associated with surgery.