Plagiocephaly

Also known as: flat head syndrome

What is plagiocephaly?

It is a condition characterized by a flattening of the skull on one side or on the back of the head.
 

What causes plagiocephaly?

Plagiocephaly occurs more commonly in twins, multiple births, premature babies, babies positioned on their backs when in the uterus (restrictive environment), babies born after a prolonged labor and commonly those babies who are nursed lying on their backs for too long.
 

What are the symptoms of plagiocephaly?

Long-term symptoms may include mild developmental and learning difficulties.
 

What are plagiocephaly care options?

Typically, when the conditions causing the flattening are changed or eliminated after birth, the condition will improve as the baby grows. After birth, reducing the pressure on the head by repositioning the baby’s head during the day, is frequently effective.
If conservative treatment is unsuccessful, or if the deformity is severe, individualized helmets may be considered at 3 to 18 months of a child’s life.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 1/11/2018 2:00:21 PM

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