What is craniosynostosis?
The skull is made up of several plates of bone which meet at gaps (sutures), called the sagittal, coronal, metopic and lambdoid. The sutures allow the bones of the skull to overlap slightly so that the baby’s head can pass through the birth canal. The sutures also enable the skull to expand to accommodate the brain which grows rapidly during the first two years of life.
Normally, sutures join (fuse) during adulthood, when brain growth has finished. However, in a small number of babies one or more of the sutures fuses before birth or early in childhood resulting in a condition called craniosynostosis.
When the suture is fused, bone growth ceases at the fused suture , and is re-directed to the unfused sutures, leading to the skull assuming an unusual shape. The type of shape will depend on which suture is affected.