What can I do if my baby has an unusual head shape?
The first thing you can do is talk to your Pediatrician about your baby’s head. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that Pediatricians evaluate the baby’s head at each visit from the top, sides front and back. The AAP also recommends that the physician talk to families about how to move the baby into a lot of different positions during the day, and stress the importance of “tummy” time whenever the baby is awake and supervised. Tummy time is not only a good way to take pressure off the flattened areas, it also helps to build strong neck and trunk muscles and will help your baby learn to roll, sit, and crawl as they grow. If there is neck muscle imbalance or a delay in development, your Pediatrician may refer your baby to a Therapist for physical or occupational therapy. The Pediatrician may also recommend that a Pediatric Craniofacial or Plastic Surgeon assess your baby’s head shape to ensure that the sutures are all open and to check for any other skull shape disorders. The specialist will examine your baby and may order an X-ray, CT scan or MRI. These tests rule out the possibility of Craniosynostosis, which is premature fusion of the sutures in the head and is much less common than Deformational Plagiocephaly.

Craniosynostosis can cause head shape deformities similar to the abnormal head shapes caused by deformation and may require surgery to remove the suture. After surgery, the physician may order a STAR Cranial Remolding Orthosis to provide additional correction of the head shape and protection of the incision site. When a STAR Cranial Remolding Orthosis is used after surgery, the same principles are used to correct the head shape as those used for babies with deformational head shape problems. Total contact is maintained over areas of bossing or prominence, and space is provided inside the orthosis in the areas where growth is desired to create a symmetrical and well proportioned to create a symmetrical and well proportioned head shape.

If your baby is diagnosed with Deformational Plagiocephaly, Brachycephaly or Scaphocephaly and is between the ages of 3 and 18 months, your pediatrician or specialist may refer you to practitioner who specializes in providing STAR Cranial Remolding Orthoses. The STAR Orthosis is a plastic and foam or clear plastic, custom molded device designed to gently correct your baby’s shape.
What happens at the first Orthosis visit?
The practitioner will review the physician’s prescription or referral, conduct a thorough evaluation, talk to you about your baby’s history and discuss the orthotic treatment program. In most cases, the practitioner will also take clinical photographs and a series of measurements with a caliper. Pictures will document your baby’s head shape at the beginning of treatment and will serve as a reference throughout the entire treatment program. If you have an insurance plan that requires prior authorization, you may be asked to schedule a return appointment when the paperwork is complete. If you are ready to begin the process immediately, the practitioner will make a duplicate of your baby’s head from a plaster impression or a 3D scan. Then an orthosis will be precisely fabricated to make your baby’s head more symmetrical and well-proportioned.
How long will my baby wear a Cranial Remolding Orthosis?
Most babies wear a STAR Cranial Remolding Orthosis less than 4 1/2 months, if they begin treatment prior to 8 months of age. Research indicates that babies treated with cranial remolding orthosis who are older than 8 months tend to have less correction in the shape; however there is still significant improvement compared to the original head shape. Although early intervention is optimal, orthotic treatment can still be successful up to about 18 months of age, at which time the slowing of head growth and thickening of the skull makes the head more resistant to change.
How will i know when my baby is done with treatment?
The practitioner will document your baby’s head shape throughout the treatment program with measurements, or clinical pictures. Periodically, the documentation will be compared to the original measurements and pictures to see what progress has been made. Typically, the decision to discontinue treatment is made at the time the baby starts to outgrow the band. At that time, the caregivers, physician, and other professionals will check the progress and decide if the band has corrected the head shape to a point where continued treatment is no longer necessary.
How can i get a STAR Cranial Remolding Orthosis for my baby?
Your pediatrician or specialist can write a prescription for a STAR Cranial Remolding Orthosis. Once you have the prescription, call our office for your first appointment.