After surgery, the cranial orthosis (AKA helmet) is used to help the patient achieve a normal head shape and correct any deformities that were present from the craniosynostosis. The therapy is very well tolerated by the patients, as can be seen from these happy babies...
For over 20 years, Dr. David F. Jimenez has performed the endoscopic procedure to correct craniosynostosis. Having performed the procedure more than any other surgeon in the world, his experience and his research on the subject have made him the preeminent expert in the treatment of this condition.
Review of history indicates that humans have been trying to shape their head shapes for thousands of years and have done successfully as done by the Egyptians and the Inca indians. Since the newborn and infant's head is very malleable, applying pressure can easily change the shape of the head. We use that principle to change the baby's abnormal head shape into a normal shape using custom made helmets that are worn for a number of months until the shape normalizes . Having used over 2000 helmets successfully, we know that the therapy works and has no untoward effect on the baby's growth or development.
Dr. Jimenez DOES NOT have any financial or other interests in Orthoamerica or any other helmet manufacturing company nor any of their subsidiaries or orthotists.
The orthosis is made of a material called Surlyn, which is a polymer that can be shaped into any desired form. After it hardens, it provides a mold that helps the head to remodel itself to a normal shape. Orthoamerica (Orlando,FL) is the company that makes the STARband, a helmet designed by us for post operative use. (www.orthoamerica.com). Below are photographs of the original STARlight PRO, clear plastic shell with foam pads in a one piece living hinge style.
The helmet DOES NOT constrict or affect brain growth in any way. It is manufactured in a way that maintains and holds in place abnormal and compensatory growth and allows for the recessed brain to move forward and into proper place. Careful analysis of head circumference growth charts in all of our patients show that brain growth takes place normally and there is no decrease or drop off from expected levels. Neuro-psychologic testing and corroborates that all of the children develop normally and that the helmet use has no negative effects on their development.
The STAR scanner has a software that allows us to gather a significant amount of data about head shape and head landmarks (anthropometric data). As seen on this report of a child with sagittal synostosis, the progress is closely followed with respective numbers and points.
Correction of head asymmetry is documented with anthropometric data and can be seen from one of the reports above.
3-D images show the progressive correction of this infant with sagittal synostosis seen at one and six month follow up.
3-D images of a baby with metopic craniosynostosis and the early improvement seen in a 4 month follow up scan.
STAR scan of a child with left coronal synostosis before (left) and 1 year (right) after endoscopic surgery.
Before and after endoscopic surgery for patient with metopic synostosis.
New helmet on a patient with metopic craniosynostosis. Notice the extra and open space on the sides of the recessed forehead, which allows for brain growth and expansion to a normal shape.
Cranial orthosis on a patient with left coronal synostosis allows for extra space on the left forehead for future growth and normalization.