Single Suture Craniosynostoses:


There are four different kinds of single suture synostosis; each type is caused by a different suture of the skull fusing shut. These single sutural synostoses all share some features in common which are discussed below. Following this discussion, the various types of synostosis (sagittal, coronal, metopic and lambdoid) are discussed individually. Finally, the surgical treatment is discussed. To start with, it is important to determine if a child truly has craniosynostosis, as the most common cause for an abnormal skull shape is not craniosynostosis, but is positional plagiocephaly. Positional plagiocephaly (aka. skull deformation) is discussed elsewhere on this site (see Deformations).


Listed below are the four types of single sutural synostosis:
Plagiocephaly | Scaphocephaly | Trigonocephaly | Posterior Plagiocephaly

Sometimes, more than one of these types of craniosynostoses can occur together. If both coronal sutures are involved, or closed, then your child probably has one of the craniofacial dysostoses. For a good starting point, please refer to the sections on Apert, Crouzon, and Pfeiffer syndromes.

Physical Traits:
Single sutural synostoses all share some features in common.
Skull | Fusion of the Suture | Problems Caused by Sutural Fusion

Rationale for Treatment:
Why is an operation recommended for those children who have a single sutural synostosis? If one considers all that is known about brain growth and development and reviews all the studies examining raised intracranial pressure, blood flow to the brain, and more recently, brain metabolism, the current final conclusion is that these children need surgical treatment. Surgery helps return the child to a most natural state, which gives the child the best chance to develop normally. In addition, if children do not look normal, their appearance can have a profound effect on their personality and willingness to socially interact with their peers. The most difficult decision is for those children who are mildly affected. If the skull is only slightly involved, it is unlikely that there has been a significant impact on the brain and appearance; then we often recommend not operating.
More about treating single sutural synostoses

It is important to discuss the specifics of any proposed operation with your craniofacial surgeon to make sure that you understand what is being done and why.