Plagiocephaly Experience?

Andrea - posted on 06/16/2010 ( 4 moms have responded )





I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with their son or daughter having plagiocephaly (flattening of the head).

After my son was born we figured out that he couldn't turn his head to the left (we think due to his delivery). After a few visits to the Chiro he was fine, but we didn't realise that the muscles on one side of his neck were now weaker than on the other side. The result: he continued to turn his head to the right and got flattening of the back/right side of his head no matter how much tummy-time etc. he got.

We have been doing physio through the hospital and they are not recommending a corrective helmet yet, but he is going on 9 months old and I'm not seeing much improvement. Since they say that a baby's head is most malleable in the first year if life, I'm getting a bit worried that it won't self-correct.

Has anyone experienced this? I'd love to hear another point of view!




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Melissa - posted on 02/08/2011




My son has severe plagio and torticollis. His was actually caused inutero, due to a car accident i had that put me in early labor at 5 mths. He moved down into the birth canal too early and was resting against my pelvic bone.
We did not really notice a problem until his 2 mth appointment at our pediatrician. He suggested more tummy time and to keep an eye on it to see if it improved. At his 4 mth appointment it was severe enough to be reffered to a cranial specialist. This is when the diagnosis of his plagio and torticollis came up. Our health insurance is refusing to pay for it as they see it as a "cosmetic" issue, even though there are studies out there that show if it goes untreated it can cause major developmental delays.
My suggestion is go with your gut...if it is not correcting itself with what they have suggested, then get a second opinion or ask for a helmet! But be aware that your insurance policy and see if it is "specifically excluded" from your policy. Bands can cost upwards of $2500 and the thought of not being able to afford to get your child fixed is heart breaking. We were lucky enough to have a wonderful childrens hospital that are willing to fix my son for almost no cost.

April - posted on 06/17/2010




wow. i never knew there was a name for this. i was just always told that his head would correct itself. he is 18 months old now and still has this problem. is it okay...he won't have any brain damage from it??

Andrea - posted on 06/17/2010




Hi Melanie,

Thanks for sharing your experience - it's hard to know what the "right" thing to do is. Good luck with your daughter's helmet!

[deleted account]

Hello. We are actually picking up my daughters helmet on Friday. She had slight toricollis (turns neck to the left but doesn't get chin over the shoulder) so we do excercises to work on that, the physical therapist wasn't too concerned about it because as she grows she seems to be correctinng it herself. But because when she was first born (11 weeks early), she was in the NICU for two months and on her head a lot, her head is flat on the right side and as a result the right side of her forhead is more forward and her right ear is more forward. The combination of the 3 things made them recommend her for the helmet. I orginally said I didn't want it and if it was just the flat spot on the head I would not do it as she is sitting up all the time now. We had her head scanned by the helmet company and then again 2 weeks later and it showed that the flat spot was correcting itself slowly but the forehead was still growing in the wrong direction, so we went ahead with the helmet.

Going through all this I was told that they like to have the helmet put on before 8 months of age, because the rate of head growth slows down greatly after that point. And at that age it would most likely have to be worn for 4 months. They said that the latest age they would put a helmet on is 18 months, the results wouldn't be as good and the helmet would have to be worn much longer to see results. My daughter is 9 months, but corrected age is 6 1/2 months (accounting for how premature she was) so she should see good results quickly.

Also, not sure if you know but the helmet is supposed to be worn 23 hours a day, taken off for pictures, baths, etc. And our insurance doesn't cover the cost because it is considered cosmetic, so although we were directed by the doctors, the choice was up to us. Just some additional information.

I def would recommend doing it sooner rather than later. If you are concerned I would get more information from your doctor so you can make the right decision for you and your son.

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