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Skull Deformity


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Home Anatomy Facial Deformity Skull Deformity Ear Deformity Eye Deformity Facial Cleft

Craniofacial Anomalies

Deformities of Skull Shape

Craniosynostosis is the premature fusion of one or more sutures (the growth centers) of the skull. This problem occurs in infants and can lead to an abnormal head shape. The resulting shape of the skull is characteristic of and can be classified by the affected suture. Surgical correction is often necessary depending on the severity of the deformity. Most often this is performed by craniofacial surgeons.

Syndromic Synostosis

Aperts Syndrome

Crouzon’s Syndrome

Pfeiffer Syndrome

Carpenters Syndrome

Saethre-Chotzen Syndrome

Isolated Craniosynostosis

Scaphocephaly, Trigonocephaly, Brachycephaly, Oxycephaly, Plagiocephaly, Kleeblattschadel

(from Greek "skaphe"; light boat or skiff)

This term describes a boat-shaped head which is associated with the early closure of the fontanelle (soft spot) and sagittal suture. This is the most common form of craniosynostosis. It is usually relatively benign condition in that intracranial pressure is usually in the normal range. Cranial surgery is usually recommended, however, to give a more normal appearance.

(from Greek "trigonos"; triangular)

Trigonocehpaly is a head deformity which gives the front of the head a wedge-shaped appearance. It consists of a narrow pointed forehead with close-set eyes. The overhead view shows this "wedge-shaped" forehead region and a bony ridge running up from the root of the nose. This deformity is associated with premature fusion of the metopic suture and can be corrected with surgical intervention.

(from Greek "brachys", short)

A brachiocephalic deformity consists of an abnormally broad head with a high forehead. The broad nature of the shape causes the length of the skull to be shortened in the front to back plane. Brachycephaly is associated with the early closure of the coronal sutures and is also present in many syndromal abnormalities, such as Apert, Crouzon, Pfeiffer, Saethre-Chotzen and Carpenters syndromes.

(from Greek "oxys", sharp)

Oxycephaly is a form of craniosynostosis which describes an abnormally high conical head shape due to the fusion of both the coronal and sagittal sutures.

(from Greek "plagios", slanting)

This type of craniosynostosis results in both skull and facial asymmetry and the head shape is often described as "lopsided" in appearance. It is caused in the front by the premature fusion of one of the coronal sutures. At the back of the skull, the occipital asymmetry is produced when the lambdoid suture closes early.


Term used to describe a trilobular head or cloverleaf deformity of the skull which occurs when all the sutures are closed. Seen from the front, the skull shape resembles that of a cloverleaf. Surgical procedures by a skilled craniofacial surgeon can give these patients a more normal appearing head.

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