The cranium has the function of protecting the brain, but it also has an important aesthetic-functional value. Skull symmetry is a sign of health and beauty.
Cranial asymmetry caused by postural defects or congenital torticollis is called positional plagiocephaly. The treatment for these cases consists of repositioning the baby (tummy time), physiotherapy and cranial orthosis (helmet therapy).
Craniosynostosis is characterized by the early closure of one or more cranial sutures. This may be simple or syndromic (for example Apert, Crouzon and Pfeiffer syndromes). Early surgical correction improves craniofacial development, the functioning of the brain, breathing, swallowing and vision.
Depending on the suture that closed early, the head develops a typical shape. See the figures below:
The most common types of simple craniosynostosis are: scaphocephaly, trigonocephaly and frontal plagiocephaly.
The neurosurgical procedure may be performed up to six months of age, and in specific cases, employing a minimally invasive neuroendoscopic technique associated with the use of cranial orthosis.
From the sixth month, classical open neurosurgery is indicated for treating craniosynostosis – correction via the surgical removal of the prematurely closed suture (suturectomy) and cranial vault remodeling with absorbable plates.