What causes craniosynostosis?
The cause of craniosynostosis is often unknown but can be related to genetic disorders or inherited genetically. It occurs in one out of 2,000 live births and affects males slightly more often than females.
What are the symptoms of craniosynostosis?
The most common symptom of craniosynostosis in infants is changes in the shape of the head and face. This is often the most noticeable or only symptom of this condition in infants. These changes cause an asymmetry in a child’s head and face that cause it to appear different from side to side. Occasionally, synostosis can increase pressure within the skull. This is especially true when multiple sutures are fused too early. Symptoms of craniosynostosis with increased pressure in the skull include:
- Full or bulging fontanelle (soft spot located on the top of the head)
- Sleepiness (or less alert than usual)
- Scalp veins may be very noticeable
- Increased irritability
- High-pitched cry
- Poor feeding
- Projectile vomiting
- Increasing head circumference
- Bulging eyes and the child’s inability to look upward with the head facing forward
- Developmental delays
The symptoms of craniosynostosis may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your child’s doctor for a diagnosis.
What are the different types of craniosynostosis?
There are 3 different types of craniosynostosis: Sagittal, Coronal and Metopic. Each type is named for the suture that has fused prematurely in the infant’s skull, resulting in craniosynostosis.
An early closure of fusion of the sagittal suture. This is the most common type of synostosis. This suture runs front to back, down the middle of the top of the head. This fusion causes a long, narrow skull. The skull is long from front to back and narrow from ear to ear.
A fusion of the coronal suture, which limits the normal forehead and brow growth. It creates a flattened forehead and brow on the affected side, with the forehead tending to be overly prominent on the other side. The eye on the affected side may also be misshapen and the back of the head may also be flattened.
A fusion of the metopic suture. This suture runs from the top of the head down the middle of the forehead, toward the nose. Early closure of this suture may cause a prominent ridge running down the forehead. This can make the forehead look pointed, like a triangle, and the eyes look like they are too close together.