Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Define: Brachycephaly

Brachycephaly refers to the condition where the head is disproportionately wide. Brachycephaly can result from the premature fusion of the coronal sutures or from external deformation (most commonly prolonged lying on the back -- a positional deformity). The head flattens uniformly, causing a much wider and shorter head. Increased head height is also common in children with brachycephaly.

For those of you who don't know, Carter was diagnosed with Brachycephaly at his two month appointment with his pediatrician. The flattening of the back of his skull (especially on the right side) is attributed to the five days he spent in the hospital with RSV at five weeks old. It certainly makes sense since I remember that he did not want to be held but wanted to lay on his back with his head turned to the right the entire time other than feedings. However, the pediatrician advised us to wait until his four month appointment before taking action (ie. getting a cranial band) because there was still a chance that his skull would correct itself.

At his four month appointment, it became clear that two months of straight tummy time and barely any time on his back had not changed the shape of his skull. Our pediatrician wrote a prescription for us to visit Star Cranial Center in Addison. After taking computer images of Carter's head, the center advised us to go ahead with a cranial band as well.

After much waiting (appointments are hard to come by) and a lot of red tape from the insurance company, we finally received his band today. I decided to go with blue so I can decorate it myself. So far, he only fusses when I am taking it off and putting it on again. Once it's on, he doesn't even notice that it's there. He's such a little trooper. By the end of this week, he will be wearing the band 23 hours per day. Yes, this includes naps and sleeping. He will most likely only have it off during bath time or if we go swimming. We're not sure how long he will have to wear the band as it all depends on how quickly he grows. The band doesn't physically shift the plates in his skull, but gives the skull more space or less space to grow in specific directions. It seems like four months is a pretty average length of time. However, Carter's brachycephaly is pretty mild, so you never know. Here are some pics of my little guy in his new head gear...

Doesn't the blue really compliment his eyes?!

From the back...

From the side...

Such a happy boy!

1 comment:

Heather said...

He looks SO sweet! It doesn't seem to be bothering him at all! Thank God!

I love the blue color...great choice!