What is Craniosynostosis?

Craniosynostosis occurs when one or more of the sutures of a baby’s skull close too early, causing problems with skull growth and skull shape.The condition is not uncommon – it occurs in 1 in every 2,000 children born in the U.S. and affects boys slightly more often than girls. Craniosynostosis is usually noticeable at birth and becomes more apparent during the first few months of your baby’s life.

Read our Craniosynostosis Surgery Guide

Possible Signs of Craniosynostosis

  • Scaphocephaly imageMisshapen skull
  • Abnormal or missing soft spot (anterior fontanelle)
  • Development of a raised, hard ridge along one of the skull’s sutures
  • Slow or no growth of the head

Types of Craniosynostosis

There are many types of craniosynostosis. Different names are given to the various types based on which suture(s) are involved and how the shape of the skull is affected.

Scaphocephaly (sagittal synostosis) is the most common type of craniosynostosis. The skull is long from front to back and narrow from ear to ear. It is caused by the closing of the sagittal suture, which runs front to back, down the middle of the top of the head.

Other types of craniosynostosis include trigonocephaly, brachycephaly, plagiocephaly, and lambdoid synostosis.


The key to treating craniosynostosis is early detection and treatment. Treatment depends on each child’s symptoms, the severity of their condition, their age and general health. It is usually best for babies to have corrective surgery before their first birthdays, while the bones of the skull are still very soft. Most surgeries can be done as early as 3 to 8 months. At the Cleft and Craniofacial Center at CHKD we perform 40-50 craniosynostosis surgeries each year.

Refer Your Child To CHKD's Craniofacial Center