Complications Of Craniosynostosis And What You Can Do To Prevent Them In Your Child

Posted on: 23 May 2019

Craniosynostosis is a medical condition whereby the unfused plates of bone in an infant's head are permanently fused far too early to allow an infant's brain to grow and develop. As you can probably guess, this leads to dozens of other developmental problems. The problem is typically caught at birth when a birth occurs at a hospital or just after birth when new parents take the infant to a wellness checkup appointment. If your infant was diagnosed with this major medical condition, here are a few of the extra medical issues your child will encounter and how you can get ahead of all of these issues. 

Swelling of the Brain and Head

A cranial fissure that has already fused before an infant starts growing almost always results in swelling of the brain and head. Malformations of the baby's skull as a result of the swelling leaves the infant in extreme pain, and he or she will cry most of the time. The swelling creates so much pressure that the rest of the brain inside the baby's unfused areas of the skull is also affected and pushed out of place. 

Cognitive Deficits

Children born with this condition typically suffer lower IQs than their peers and family members. Mental retardation is mild to severe in these young patients if the craniosynostosis is not addressed as soon as possible. Even if the child does not have cognitive deficits (i.e., in IQ), learning disabilities may present themselves at a future date. 

Physical and Obvious Deformities of the Face, Jaws, and Head

Because the brain and skull cannot grow at a normal rate or develop normally when one or more cranial bone plates are already fused, there are obvious physical deformities of the head, face, and jaws. These deformities cause problems with vision, breathing, hearing, and eating. Plastic surgery can help correct some of these deformities, but ultimately treating the main medical condition very early on can help the head, face, and jaws develop more normally. 

The One Solution That Addresses All of the Problems Above

Most parents do not like thinking about having open skull surgery on their infant's head. That can be a very scary prospect. However, considering lifelong disabilities compared with the potentially life course-altering surgery of cutting the fused bone plates is something to seriously think about. If your tiny baby could have one small piece of bone removed in order to separate the two fused bone plates now and have the opportunity to grow and develop more normally with fewer medical conditions, you would want that surgery, would you not? It will be difficult for the first few years of life, but most parents of babies with this condition argue that it is worth it.