Speaker: Practitioners should be more familiar with craniosynostosis

LAS VEGAS — Practitioners and clinicians should be comfortable and knowledgeable in treating patients with craniosynostosis, as it is unique from deformational plagiocephaly, according to a speaker at the Hanger Education Fair and National Meeting, here.

Shannon O’Shea-Stueve, CPO, a clinic manager for Hanger Clinic, said normal skull growth occurs perpendicular to each cranial suture. However, craniosynostosis disrupts normal growth and can result in a malformed skull and intracranial pressure to occur. The resulting cranial deformity is scaphocephaly, which presents with an elongated head shape and a raised, “rocky path” along the sagittal suture.

Shannon O’Shea-Stueve

O’Shea-Stueve added that the possibility for intracranial growth or pressure “has not been researched well,” and that surgery for craniosynostosis is commonly cosmetic.

“Take this home, educate everyone about this because this is what is most important when treating both for deformational plagiocephaly and craniosynostosis,” O’Shea-Stueve said. “When craniosynostosis is present, that normal skull growth is disrupted. That can create an abnormal head shape and the possibility of intracranial growth.”

According to O’Shea-Stueve, after practitioners correct sagittal craniosynostosis, they should control the length of the skull with contact, promote directional growth width and increase cephalic index. They should also not be afraid to overcorrect, she said.

“Tend to overcorrect these patients, as they are going to want to revert backward to the scaphocephalic head shape,” O’Shea-Stueve said. “Try to push them up and overcorrect, because every time they are hitting one of their big developmental milestones, where gravity is influencing the occiput, then you are going to see that number go down.” – by Jason Laday


O’Shea-Stueve S. Presented at: Hanger Education Fair and National Meeting. Jan. 30-Feb. 3, 2017; Las Vegas.

Disclosure: O’Shea-Stueve reports sponsorship from Hanger Clinic.

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