Bringing a baby home from the hospital is very exciting. But it can also be a scary time as you navigate the first few months as a parent. The list of things you have to worry about as your child develops can seem endless. Being on the lookout for health issues in your infant is part and parcel of parenting.
One of the most common concerns for new parents is the shape of the baby’s head. You’ll want to know as early as possible whether or not it’s a serious condition that requires further attention. This blog will discuss common skull deformities in babies and the remedies available for them.
Types of Cranial Deformities in Babies
Babies’ heads are usually soft at birth to help them pass through the birth canal and take around 18 months to get fully formed. Cranial deformities can show up during this period as their skulls are still developing. The most common cranial deformities in babies are:
Positional plagiocephaly, also known as deformational plagiocephaly or flat head syndrome, is a condition in which specific areas of an infant's head develop an abnormally flattened shape and appearance. It’s often caused by the baby consistently lying on its back. But in rare cases, especially multiple or premature births, positional plagiocephaly can occur at birth depending on the baby’s position in the womb.
How is positional plagiocephaly treated?
There are no preventive measures you can take to prevent the flat head syndrome. The pressure of birth can make newborns have unusually shaped heads. In some cases, the condition can resolve itself within six weeks.
There are also other techniques you can use to correct positional plagiocephaly. They include:
It’s advisable to discuss the pros and cons of using a custom-made cranial helmet with a baby cranial specialist.
Find a plagiocephaly treatment center near you.
Torticollis refers to a tight muscle on one side of the neck. It’s a condition that causes the baby to hold his/ her neck to one side and results in positional head deformity. The tilted neck position can cause changes to the child’s face and head shape over time.
Torticollis is also referred to as a wryneck. The condition is more likely to occur in firstborn children and the primary cause is unknown. It might happen from being cramped inside the uterus or in an unusual position (such as being in the breech position). Other causes include:
Physical, ultrasound, or heat therapy are often used to help correct abnormal neck positions. A neck collar can also help in correcting a wry neck. But in rare cases, the baby may require surgery to treat torticollis.
Craniosynostosis is a birth defect in which the bones in a baby’s skull join together too early. It occurs when one or more sutures close before the brain is fully formed. Sutures are the junctions between the bones that make up the skull. The types of craniosynostosis depend on what sutures join together early.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one in every 2,500 babies in the US is born with craniosynostosis.
Early suture closure can cause the skull to grow in an unusual shape. It can restrict the growth of the skull and harm brain development. It can also lead to other problems depending on which sutures are closed, whether they closed before or after birth (and at what age), and whether or not the brain has room to grow.
Signs and Symptoms of Craniosynostosis
Craniosynostosis can be diagnosed as soon as a baby is born (when it occurs before birth) even though some might be diagnosed later. The most apparent symptom of craniosynostosis is an abnormally shaped head.
When the condition restricts the growth of the skull, it may lead to pressure building inside the baby’s skull. Signs of high pressure may include:
Learn More About Cranial Deformities in Babies
There are many contributing factors to cranial deformities in babies. Being aware of things that can affect your baby’s normal growth and development is important to parents. Align Clinic provides head and skull assessment using the latest technology and advises on the right treatment.
Have any questions or concerns about cranial deformities in babies?
Get in touch with a baby cranial specialist today.
Having your child get diagnosed with pectus carinatum can be a frightening experience. The disease can take a toll on you and your child’s mental state.
Bracing and other medical interventions can be used to remedy pectus carinatum.
What is Pectus Carinatum?
Pectus carinatum (or pigeon chest) is a structural malformation of the chest wall in which the sternum or ribcage protrudes outwards. Pectus carinatum affects 1 in 1000 teens, and many noninvasive treatment options are available with early detection.
What Are the Symptoms of Pectus Carinatum?
The breastbone pushing outward is typically the first symptom a person experiences. However, pectus carinatum symptoms evolve as a child develops and matures. Symptoms in infants can include:
There are two types of pectus carinatum:
The precise cause of pectus carinatum is unknown. The cartilage connecting the ribs develops abnormally, which leads to pectus carinatum. Sometimes pectus carinatum happens after cardiac surgery.
The high percentage of patients with a family history of a chest wall defect or deformity--estimates range from 25 to 33%—suggests a genetic component.
Pectus carinatum can occur in people with conditions like Noonan and Marfan syndrome.
How Is Pectus Carinatum Diagnosed?
Normal diagnosis of pectus carinatum occurs throughout the teenage years when growth is accelerated. It can be noticed as early as age 10, peaking at 16 and 18 for both men and women, respectively.
Your child’s physician can diagnose pectus carinatum during a physical medical examination. Further CT scans can be taken to calculate the depth of the chest. The doctor can detect scoliosis and other bone abnormalities with x-rays, electrocardiograms, and echocardiograms.
How to Treat Pectus Carinatum
There are three treatment options for pectus carinatum, depending on the severity of the condition. These include:
1. Non-surgical Correction
The first line of treatment is orthotic braces since they frequently yield satisfactory outcomes. Bracing can treat young children with flexible chests and can receive treatment for mild to moderate forms of pectus carinatum.
Depending on the manufacturer and the degree of the chest wall protrusion, the braces are worn by the patient for between 14 and 24 hours every day, either under or over their clothing. As your child grows, it might need to be changed regularly. The brace gradually reshapes the chest wall by applying pressure to the projecting cartilage and breastbone.
Once the chest bones have fully developed, bracing is no longer as effective. Your child's doctor might suggest a surgical procedure in this situation or if your child is unable to or refuses to adhere to the demanding bracing schedule.
2. Surgical Correction
A procedure known as the Ravitch can be used to repair pectus carinatum surgically. The chest wall is elevated during this invasive operation, and the distorted cartilage is removed after creating an incision in the front chest wall.
A metal bar is inserted through the incision and secured to the ribs using metal plates. The bar is left in the chest wall for six months to keep the proper shape. During this period, your child must avoid contact sports that could lead to a collision.
3. Cosmetic Concealment
Some adult patients who choose not to seek medical therapy for correction turn to bodybuilding to sculpt the muscles surrounding the protruding chest wall in a way that lessens its appearance.
Although this doesn't change the deformity, it can boost confidence and self-esteem. Breast augmentation has also been done on female patients to change the morphological characteristics of the chest and conceal the pectus carinatum.
Together We Can Defeat Pectus Carinatum
Some children and teenagers have a rare chest wall malformation called pectus carinatum, which may be inherited. The breastbone protrudes outward rather than lying flat on the chest wall, which indicates abnormal chest wall development.
Using a chest brace, children with pectus carinatum have excellent prognoses. Braces can frequently be used to improve the sternum's external appearance. Surgery may be required in some severe circumstances to fix the deformity.
Align Clinic has expert orthotists trained not only in pectus carinatum bracing but also are well aware of the psychological toll it can take on your child. They’ve vast experience helping hundreds of patients like your child in their journey to recovery from pectus carinatum.
Call us today to book an appointment with one of our doctors.
What Is a Pectus Carinatum Brace?
This is a lightweight tailor-made brace that surrounds the chest and applies pressure to the protruding front chest.
How Does a Pectus Carinatum Brace Work?
The Pectus Carinatum brace pushes the breastbone back to its proper place.
How Long Do Kids Need to Wear the Brace?
While some children will require a brace for longer, most children wear them for six months to a year. They can typically take it off for activities like sports and showers, but they typically have to wear it for at least eight hours each day.
Are There Any Problems With Wearing a Brace?
The brace usually has no negative effects. Sometimes the skin beneath it can become a little inflamed and red. Usually, this fades away on its own.
How Can You Help Your Child With Wearing a Brace?
Most children adjust to wearing their brace well. Nonetheless, some kids find it difficult. Parents can work with their kids to come up with solutions. Children self-conscious about wearing the brace can cover it with a baggy shirt or limit its use to sleeping.
Knee orthotics is an increasingly popular solution for managing knee pain and disability. They support and stabilize the knee joint, helping people with various conditions, from mild discomfort to more severe issues.
Numerous factors, such as age, lifestyle, and underlying medical conditions, can cause knee pain. That often significantly impacts daily activities.
Knee orthotics can manage knee pain and help people return to daily activities. This article will provide all the information you require regarding knee orthotics so that you can choose the best course of action.
What is a Knee Orthotic?
A knee orthotic is a device used to support, protect, and improve the function of the knee joint. These devices are custom-made to fit each patient's unique needs and provide stability and comfort while helping to reduce pain or disability caused by knee issues.
They’re typically made from a combination of plastic, foam, and fabric materials and come in various styles to support different needs. They can be worn on either side of the joint, with some models including a built-in cushioning system to help reduce pressure and strain on the knee joint.
What Conditions Can Knee Orthotics Help?
Knee orthotics can manage many medical conditions, providing support and stability to the knee joint. These devices can help reduce pain and discomfort, improve the range of motion, and maximize the effectiveness of physical therapy.
Knee orthotics can benefit the following common conditions:
Knee orthotics come in various styles, each designed to provide specific support for the knee joint. The common types are:
1. Sleeve-style Orthotics
These orthotics slip over the knee like a sleeve. They allow for a full range of motion and gently compress and support the knee joint. They’re lightweight and can be worn under clothing for discreet use during activities.
The sleeve-style orthotics are best for mild to moderate knee pain, providing minimal immobilization and cushioning.
2. Strap-style Orthotics
Strap-style orthotics are designed to offer low-profile support for knee pain. They use straps to stabilize the joint and provide additional cushioning where needed. These braces are discreet and easy to remove when needed.
They can help with mild to moderate cases of knee instability or pain, as well as after surgery and injury. They also provide a comfortable, supportive fit that won't restrict movement.
3. Wraparound Orthotics
Wraparound orthotics are ideal if you need extra support and stability for your knee. They use two adjustable straps that wrap around the knee, providing a secure fit and extra cushioning. The straps are also adjustable to customize the level of support needed.
These orthotics can provide support for moderate to severe knee pain or instability. They’re also perfect for motion-intensive activities like sports or running. For those who lead active lifestyles, they’re a great option because they’re cozy and easy to use.
Wraparound orthotics are also durable and lightweight, making them an excellent long-term option for managing chronic knee pain or instability.
4. Unloader Orthotics
Unloader braces take pressure off the knee joint, relieving pain and discomfort. They use adjustable straps to provide a customized fit and support for the knee joint.
These orthotics help manage moderate to severe pain caused by osteoarthritis or other knee joint conditions. The adjustable straps give the knee more stability and comfort, which helps to alleviate pain and discomfort. They also help prevent further damage to the joint by removing pressure.
5. Open Patellar Orthotics
Open patellar orthotics are designed to support and cushion the knee joint. They have an open kneecap (patella) area, providing extra cushioning and stabilization. As they ease the strain on the joint, these braces can also relieve pain.
They provide a secure fit, adjustable straps, and extra cushioning that can help relieve pain and discomfort. Plus, they’re lightweight and discreet, so you can wear them under clothing without anyone knowing.
Choosing the Best Knee Knee Orthotic for You
A suitable orthotic device can make a big difference when managing knee pain and instability. The key is finding the best brace for your individual needs. These are steps to find the perfect fit:
1. Determine the Pain or Injury Level
While choosing a knee brace, it is essential to consider your unique requirements. Consider the level of pain or instability you’re experiencing and any other factors that may influence it, such as prior injuries or health conditions.
2. Know Braces are Made for Specific Conditions
Different braces are designed for different conditions. Research and ask your orthotist questions about the brace to ensure it will meet your needs.
3. Consult an Orthotist
An orthotist is a professional who specializes in fitting braces and orthotics. They’ll assess your knee condition and recommend which braces are best for you.
4. Choose the Right Knee Brace for You
Once you’ve consulted with an orthotist and identified the right brace, ensure it fits properly and is comfortable. That’ll ensure that you get the most out of your knee brace.
Take the First Step Toward Pain Relief
Knee orthotics can significantly reduce pain, improve mobility and maintain an active lifestyle. With the correct information, you can decide about your treatment options.
At Align Clinic, we are here to help you select the right option for your needs. Call us today, and we’ll guide you toward the best solution to your knee pain.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.