Pediatric Neurosurgery

Craniosynostosis

Contact Information

(608) 263-6420

 

Health Information

The Pediatric Neurosurgery team at American Family Children's Hospital provides treatment for children with craniosynostosis.
 
What is craniosynostosis?
 
Sutures (see diagram) are spaces between an infant's skull bones that allow the brain to expand as the infant gets older. Craniosynostosis is a condition wherein two or more sutures have closed too early, which forces the brain to grow in a different direction causing an abnormal shape of the head.
 
Diagram of types of cranial sutures

Types of cranial sutures, which close prematurely to cause craniosynostosis.

The cause of craniosynostosis is not known.
 
Craniosynostosis Symptoms
  • No soft spot (fontanelle) on skull
  • Unusual head shape
  • Head smaller than normal as the baby grows  
Diagnosing Craniosynostosis
 
Craniosynostosis is usually diagnosed after parents or the child's pediatrician notice the abnormal shape of the infant's head.
 
Treating Craniosynostosis
 
Surgery is the most common way to address craniosynostosis. In the most severe cases, the goal of surgery is to create the space necessary for proper brain growth. In mild to moderate cases, the goal of surgery is to make the skull more cosmetically appealing.