Craniosynostosis

Introduction

Craniosynostosis is a condition in which there is premature fusion of the cranial sutures. It results in malformations of the head during early growth. In a true case of full-blown craniosynostosis, plastic shape correction through an operation is indicated. In this scenario it is important that the surgeon has sufficient experience in recognizing synostoses in order to assess what the optimal course of treatment is. The diagnosis can, in most cases, be performed with a trained eye. It is not necessary here to expose patients to radiation with multiple computer tomographic scans. In the case of syndromatic synostoses, a multidisciplinary team made up of human geneticists, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, ophthalmologists, pediatric neurologists, physiotherapists and social workers are involved to come up with a common therapeutic concept.

Should an operation be necessary, we offer a standardized operative procedure which is adapted to the individual. In such cases, prior to the operation, we know precisely which surgical steps are going to be taken so that the highest degree of safety and plastic success can be ensured. The postoperative phase also occurs according to a standardized plan. This means that the operations and treatment are performed in a way which is gentle on the patient who benefits from the experience of the surgeons, pediatricians and nursing staff.

Since 1995, we have successfully acquired a great deal of experience with regard the to the rare condition of craniosynostosis. In 2009, we operated on 72 children with synostoses at Charité in the Virchow Clinical Center.

Positional malformations of the skull are often caused by a muscular imbalance. For this reason, physiotherapy and osteotherapy are the primary treatment option. In severe cases, we recommend helmet therapy to splint balanced head growth during the second half of the first year of life.

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