Plagiocephaly and brachycephaly treatment with cranial orthosis: a case report
The number of cranial deformities has increased considerably since international efforts of pediatricians to recommend parents putting their babies to sleep in the supine position as a strategy to reduce sudden death syndrome of the newborn. On the one hand, this program has demonstrated very efficient results at reducing deaths and, on the other hand, such recommendation has increased the incidence of cranial asymmetries. In addition, infants are kept too long in one position, much of this due to abusive use of strollers, baby carriers, car seats, swings and other devices. Among resulting asymmetries, the most frequently found are plagiocephaly (parallelogram shaped skull, with posterior unilateral flattening with the opposite frontal area also flattened) and brachycephaly (occipital bilateral flattening). The present study is a case report of a patient with brachycephaly associated with deformational plagiocephaly treated with cranial orthosis. The same physician clinically evaluated the patient before and after treatment using photographic recording and a laser scanning device, which allows the accurate measurement of variables determining asymmetries. It became clear during treatment that there was significant improvement in cranial symmetry documented by decrease in the cephalic index, diagonal difference and volume gain in the quadrant that was flattened. The authors conclude that orthotic therapy is a safe and effective therapeutic modality for position cranial asymmetries.