The skull of an infant is made up of free-floating bones separated by fibers called sutures. This arrangement allows the infant’s head to pass through the birth canal and also enables the skull to grow with the brain in early infancy.
Premature fusing of the sutures is called craniosynostosis, which restricts skull growth. The cause of this premature fusion is unknown. Simply put, synostosis is the union of two or more bones to form a single bone. Children born with craniosynostosis may have increased pressure on the brain and vision problems. They also have low self-esteem and behavioral problems. Long-term studies demonstrate that in addition to correcting functional problems associated with craniosynostosis, reconstructive surgery has a positive effect on the child’s self image and the ability to get along with his or her peers.