Conditions + Treatments

Craniosynostosis in Children

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Contact the Craniofacial Anomalies Program

  • 1-617-355-6309

In the midst of all of the joy you feel as a new parent, learning that your child has a craniofacial deformity—especially one like craniosynostosis that may require surgery—can be overwhelming. Your list of questions may seem endless: What exactly is craniosynostosis?How serious is it? Is my child at risk for developmental problems? How will this affect his daily life? 

Learning the basics about craniosynostosis is a good first step. 

  • Craniosynostosis is a condition in which the fibrous joints, called sutures, between the plates of the skull fuse too early during a child’s development.
  • A child with craniosynostosis may have problems with brain and skull growth, possibly leading to developmental delays and cognitive impairment.
  • Some children with craniosynostosis develop abnormally high pressure inside the skull, called intracranial pressure. This can cause serious neurological complications if left untreated.
  • Craniosynostosis can cause a misshapen appearance of the head and skull.
  • Craniosynostosis is often noticeable at birth, but can also emerge in older infants.
  • Sometimes, it runs in families—but most often, it appears to occur randomly.
  • Craniosynostosis affects more boys than girls.
  • Many infant skull shape irregularities are actually due to a condition called plagiocephalywhich is related to the baby’s position during sleep—and not craniosynostosis. Plagiocephaly is a very different disorder, and does not require surgery to treat.
  • Surgery is the recommended treatment option for most types of craniosynostosis, in order to help reduce intracranial pressure and correct the deformity. 
The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944

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