Craniosynostosis (from cranio, cranium; + syn, together; + ostosis relating to bone) is a condition in which one or more of the fibrous sutures in an infant skull prematurely fuses by turning into bone,thereby changing the growth pattern of the skull. Because the skull cannot expand perpendicular to the fused suture, it compensates by growing more in the direction parallel to the closed sutures. Sometimes the resulting growth pattern provides the necessary space for the growing brain, but results in an abnormal head shape and abnormal facial features.
In cases in which the compensation does not effectively provide enough space for the growing brain, craniosynostosis results in increased intracranial pressure leading possibly to visual impairment, sleeping impairment, eating difficulties, or an impairment of mental development combined with a significant reduction in IQ.
Craniosynostosis is the premature closure of one or more cranial sutures . Itmay manifest as an isolated occurence, or it may be associated with other defects as aprt of a syndrome. The degree of skull and facial deformities may range from minimal , as in a mild metopic suture fusion , to severe , as in kleeblattschädel deformity , which involves multiple cranial sutures.
Signs of craniosynostosis include:
- A misshapen skull, with the shape depending on which of the cranial sutures are affected
- An abnormal feeling or disappearing “soft spot” (fontanel) on baby’s skull
- Slow or no growth of the head as baby grows
- Development of a raised, hard ridge along affected sutures
- Increased pressure within the skull (intracranial pressure)
The signs of craniosynostosis may not be noticeable at birth, but they become apparent during the first few months of baby’s life.