Craniosynostosis

Premature closure of sutures; Synostosis; Plagiocephaly; Scaphocephaly; Fontanelle - craniosynostosis; Soft spot - craniosynostosis

Craniosynostosis is a birth defect in which one or more sutures on a baby's head closes earlier than usual.

The skull of an infant or young child is made up of bony plates that are still growing. The borders at which these plates intersect are called sutures or suture lines. The sutures allow for growth of the skull. They normally close ("fuse") by the time the child is 2 or 3 years old.

Early closing of a suture causes the baby to have an abnormally shaped head. This may limit brain growth.

Skull of a newborn

The "sutures" or anatomical lines where the bony plates of the skull join together can be easily felt in the newborn infant. The diamond shaped space on the top of the skull and the smaller space further to the back are often referred to as the "soft spot" in young infants.

Causes

Symptoms

Exams and Tests

Treatment

Outlook (Prognosis)

Possible Complications

When to Contact a Medical Professional