Craniosynostosis is a rare but chronic condition, which affects the normal development of baby’s brain and skull. The newborn’s skull is made up of many separate bones, the fusion of these bones, usually occurs later in teen years. The early fusion of these bones in the newborn’s skull causes Craniosynostosis. Craniosynostosis disorder affects the normal growth process, which involves bone displacement and bone remodelling. This rare disorder can occur before or after birth. The risk of developing Craniosynostosis is equal among boys and girls. Craniosynostosis occurs in one out of 2500 births.
Types of Craniosynostosis
Metopic Synostosis- It occurs when there is a fusion between sagittal structure and nose. Metopic synostosis results in triangular development of scalp.
Lamdoid Synostosis- It is the rarest type of Craniosynostosis and affects the back portion of the head. Lamdoid Synostosis results in twisted shape of skull.
Coronal Craniosynostosis- It occurs when there is an early fusion between the coronal structures of the skull, which affects the higher eye socket and results in the flat development of the forehead.
Causes of Craniosynostosis
Doctors do not know the exact cause of Craniosynostosis. However, genetic mutation is stated as one of the most possible causes of Craniosynostosis. Genetic mutation leads to the defects in cell sutures that cause them to fuse too early.
Another possible cause of Craniosynostosis is the irregular position of the baby in the womb or putting excessive pressure that can cause the early fusion of sutures.
One visible symptom of Craniosynostosis is the abnormal shape of the head. Early fusion of bones restricts the normal growth of bone and skull. The excessive pressure on skull results in the development of learning disabilities and problems with the eyesight. Frequent headaches and developmental delays are other common symptoms of Craniosynostosis.
Diagnosis of Craniosynostosis
Initially, a paediatrician will try to diagnose Craniosynostosis by performing a visual evaluation and feeling for creases around the baby’s skull. The doctor may order a blood test to check if Craniosynostosis is inherited or not. Imaging tests such as CT scans and X–rays disclose the location of fused sutures.
Surgery is by far the only treatment available for Craniosynostosis. Surgery to correct Craniosynostosis is to be performed within the first year of baby’s birth. If left untreated, Craniosynostosis can get worse resulting in increased deformity of the skull. Surgery for Craniosynostosis involves the reformation of the baby’s skull, by repositioning the fused sutures. Dissolvable stitches are used to close the incisions.