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When discussing Positional Plagiocephaly and Head Shapes, there are generally 3 different shapes involved.  Any baby's head can vary somewhat from any given shape.  The key thing to recognize here, is that each of these 3 shapes can be consistent with both Positional Plagiocephaly AND Craniosynostosis.  Be sure to contact a specialist (i.e. neurosurgeon) to rule out any suture fusion.

 

Plagiocephaly

backright side

By far, the most common head shape.  Common characteristics of Plagiocephaly include:

  • Flattened back/side of the head (left or right)

  • Bossing of the forehead on flattened side

  • Prominent cheek on flattened side

  • One eye may appear larger that the other

  • Misaligned ears (ear on flattened side will be pushed forward)

  • Possible tilted jaw

  •  

     

    Brachycephaly

    frontback

     

    The second most common head shape.  Characteristics include:

      • Entire back of the head is flattened

      • Short (front to back) and wide (from side to side) head shape

      • The back/top of the head usually appears higher than the front/top

      • facial asymmetry is less common with this head shape, but some claim their babies have a bulging forehead.

     

    Scaphocephaly

     

    The least common of the 3 head shapes, often seen with preemie babies, and sometimes with breech babies.  Characteristics include:

      • Elongated head shape - Long (from front to back), and narrow (from side to side)

      • If baby is laid on the back of the head, the chin may be pushed down to the chest

      • "Shelf" at back of head

      • Many describe "temple dimples" or indents on each side of the forehead with this head shape

     

     

      

     

    DOC Band (by Cranial Technologies)

    This is the "helmet" that you will hear about the most. It  was the first to be approved by the FDA, and there are treatment centers all over the United States, 2 in Canada, and 1 in Spain.  Each custom designed DOC Band is very light weight (6oz), and can be used on babies with plagiocephaly, brachycephaly, and scaphocephaly as young as 3 months of age, and as old as 24 months of age!  This band works by applying mild pressure to prominent areas of the head, while leaving room for the flattened areas to grow into.  Very few babies are bothered by this band, and life continues as normal after treatment is started.  For clinic locations, and more information, visit the Cranial Technologies website at www.cranialtech.com.

     

      STARband (by Orthomerica)

    This is the U.S.'s second FDA approved "helmet".  This band also applies mild pressures to the prominent areas of the head, while leaving room for the flattened areas to grow.  The STARband can be used on babies between  3 and 18 months of age, for plagiocephalic and brachycephalic head shapes.  This band is available across the United States and Canada.  Check with your local orthotist, or visit the Orthomerica website at www.orthomerica.com.

     

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    This information is not meant to replace your child's physician's input.

    Views expressed in the Plagiocephaly Parents Support website are not necessarily the views of the Plagiocephaly Discussion Group or the webmaster of Plagiocephaly.Info.

     
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