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What is Craniosynostosis?

Craniosynostosis is a medical term which means fused bones of the skull. The skull is made up of five bones, and where these bones meet is called a suture. As a baby grows, the brain increases in size. If one of the sutures closes prematurely there will be no room for growth, causing overgrowth in another area leading to an abnormal shaped head. In some cases this is caused by a specific chromosomal defect, in other cases the cause is still unknown.

What suture are you dealing with?

Fused Suture Name Description
Bicoronal  Brachycephaly Short Skull
The Bicoronal suture closure results in a flat forehead and increased skull height. This may occur as an isolated incidence or as part of a complex syndrome such as Crouzon's.
Lambdoid Posterior Plagiocephaly Asymmetric Skull
The closure of this suture can be unilateral or bilateral resulting in a flat posterior skull.
Metopic Trigonocephaly Triangular Skull
The metopic suture runs down the middle of the forehead. Closure of this suture results in a triangular shaped forehead. Children with this type of synostosis appear to have decreased distance between the eyes.
Sagittal Scaphocephaly Boat Skull
The premature closure of the sagittal suture results in a long narrow skull with a bulging forehead and possibly back of the skull.
Unilateral Coronal
(Right or Left)
Plagiocephaly Asymmetric Skull
As a result flattening of the forehead over the affected area and the opposite side appears to bulge, at times the eyes can appear to be asymmetrical.

The following sites contain more detailed information relating to craniosynostosis: what it is, the different sutures that can be involved, and other terminology relating to the condition.  Some of these include photos.

Tennessee Cranial Facial Center, Erlanger (Chattanooga, TN)

Children's Medical Center (Dallas, TX)

Craniosynostosis and Parents Support (CAPS)

eGroups (on-line support chat for CAPS)

Children's Medical Center (New York)

FACES: The National Craniofacial Association
email: faces
P.O. Box 11082
Chattanooga, TN 37401
(423) 266-1632, toll-free: 1-800-332-2373

Children's Craniofacial Association
P.O. Box 280297
Dallas, TX 75228

Primary Children's Medical Center (Utah)

National Craniofacial Foundation
3100 Carlisle Street
Suite 215
Dallas, TX 75204
(800) 535-3643

Society for the Rehabilitation of the Facially Disfigured
550 First Avenue
New York, NY 10016
(212) 340-5400

Forward Face
317 East 34th Street
Room 901
New York, NY 10016
(212) 684-5860
(800) 393-3223
Fax: (212) 684-5864