We treat abnormal head shapes in infants with innovative orthotic solutions
Most abnormal skull shapes developed during pregnancy and result in the flattening of one side of the head [Positional head deformities]. It may also be related to a tightened neck muscle on one side (torticollis), abnormal neck spine (fusion) or abnormal eye muscles.
If the parents react at the right time, our Pediatric Head Deformities Clinic can provide detailed evaluation and solutions for infantile head deformities. We are proud to be a clinical provider of cranial remodeling orthosis, manufacturing through digital technologies which offer improved comfort, fantastic aesthetics, gentle care, and fast delivery.
These can occur when a baby sleeps in the same position during pregnancy or due to problems with the neck muscles (torticollis). Infant’s heads are soft to allow for the incredible brain growth that occurs in the first year of life. But, they’re also susceptible to being “molded” into a flat shape. Fortunately, positional plagiocephaly is usually easy to treat, and appropriate intervention is possible by using plagiocephaly treatment helmets before one year of age.
Premature babies are more vulnerable to positional head deformities due to their skulls being softer than those of full-term babies. The medical conditions often result in spending increased periods on their backs without being moved or picked up.
Positional head deformities shouldn’t be confused with craniosynostosis, a more severe condition that occurs when skull bones fuse too soon, causing an abnormal skull shape and possible brain damage if the condition is not corrected. Craniosynostosis is usually corrected with surgery.
Early diagnosis and timely orthotic interventions can quickly correct positional head deformities. When parents notice a head shape abnormality, a child physician or paediatric orthopaedic specialist should be consulted immediately. The physician usually makes a diagnosis of positional plagiocephaly by merely examining the child’s head. The doctor will also note whether regular repositioning of your child’s head during sleep up to 4 months of age will successfully reshape the growing skull over time. X-rays or a CT scan may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis or clarify if the skull bones are typically separated or if they fused too soon. If the bones are not fused, the doctor will confirm that the child has the positional head deformity and prescribe a cranial remodelling band/orthosis.
Cranial remodelling orthosis is not indicated in children younger than 4 months. Children younger than 3 months respond well to positioning. The infants referred to our clinic between the age of 4 to 12 months have the most successful outcome. Infants who are 12-16 months old should expect partial results. Undergoing post-surgical care are also treated hereby guiding irregular and “bulging” shaped parts of the skull, promoting normal growth within the remodelling orthosis.
Plagiocephaly orthosis, also known as cranial remodelling band or cranial helmet, aim to improve symmetry of a baby’s skull. If repositioning alone has not been effective, at MOBILIS we use a custom made, 3D Printed remodelling helmet. It offers improved comfort, and fantastic aesthetics to gently guides growth and restore the normal shape of the head. It is also gentle on the skin whilst successfully correcting the deformity.
The orthosis is designed to be used in infants during the period of rapid skull growth. The treatment has a high success rate and only takes between 4 to 6 months. The most appropriate time to get started is around the age of 4 months. Research shows that orthotic treatment using an orthosis is the most effective solution for severe head shape deformity(plagiocephaly). We use a proven system which successfully treated over 8,000 infants in 6 countries with amazing results compared to traditional cranial remodelling orthoses. Compare to the new approach, the traditional approach is heavier, thermally uncomfortable and bulky.
Highly precise 3D measurements are taken during your second visit to MOBILIS clinic, which is quick and safe for infants. You are given a choice of colours to choose from. Your clinician then designs the orthosis digitally. The orthosis is 3D printed since no other technology can deliver equal accuracy, lightweight and aesthetics. All follow-up appointments need to adhere for necessary adjustments.
Our clinicians will provide explicit instruction for follow up visits. After the final fitting, the child should be seen by our clinician after 1 week to review the comfort levels and after the second week for troubleshooting if any adjustments are required. Furthermore, follow up visits are recommended at regular intervals until the head shape reaches a satisfactory correction.