Craniosynostosis is a condition in which one or more of the fibrous sutures in an infant skull prematurely fuses by turning into bone (ossification), thereby changing the growth pattern of the skull. Because the skull cannot expand perpendicular to the fused suture, it compensates by growing more in the direction parallel to the closed sutures. The fusion of this suture causes a certain change in the shape of the skull; a deformity of the skull. Sometimes the resulting growth pattern provides the necessary space for the growing brain, but results in an abnormal head shape and abnormal facial features.
There are four types of craniosynostosis:
The prevalence of nonsyndromic craniosynostosis was 3.1 in 10,000 live births in Victoria. On average, the incidence of nonsyndromic craniosynostosis increased by 2.5% per year among Victorian live births. Over 25 years, metopic synostosis incidence significantly increased by 7.1% per year in the population of Victoria.
Treating craniosynostosis usually involves surgery to separate the fused bones. If there's no underlying brain abnormality, the surgery allows baby’s brain adequate space to grow and develop. The primary goal in surgical intervention is to allow normal cranial vault development to occur. The few basic elements involved in the surgical intervention aimed at normalization of the cranial vault include: minimization of blood loss and the avoidance of the use of titanium plates in the fixation of the skull.
The ongoing researches in Australia on Craniosynostosis include: Changing epidemiology of non-syndromic craniosynostosis and revisiting the risk factors, Analysis of morbidity and mortality in surgical management of craniosynostosis, Computer-aided design and manufacturing in craniosynostosis surgery.