Static Orthotic Cranioplasty as a Nonsurgical Alternative for the Treatment of Deformational Plagiocephaly

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Orthotic treatment of craniofacial deformities was initiated in the mid1970s. Changes in recommended infant sleeping position and a subsequent rise in the occurrence of deformational plagiocephaly have spurred an increase in the number of patients identified and treated for craniofacial deformities by orthotic practitioners. This study analyzed the use of static orthotic cranioplasty as an effective nonsurgical alternative for patients with deformational plagiocephaly. Pediatric patients ranging in age from 5 to 14 months were evaluated to assess and quantify craniofacial asymmetry. A plaster impression was taken of each patient’s cranium, providing a model of the dysmorphic skull. Realignment of the model was performed with plaster enhancements, and Durr-Plex co-polyester was thermoformed over the corrected model. The orthosis created equilibrium with the cranium, passively holding the cranial prominences and allowing expansion of the depressed cranial features. Anthropometric and cross-sectional quadrangular data were collected during monthly evaluations and stored on a spreadsheet using Microsoft Excel for statistical analysis. The mean age of treatment initiation was 7.9 months, with an average treatment length of 5.4 months. The results of cross-sectional and anthropometric data analysis demonstrated significant reductions in facial and cranial disharmony for infants with cranioscoliosis, indicating that static orthotic cranioplasty is an effective nonsurgical treatment for infants with deformational plagiocephaly.

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