What Is Craniosynostosis?

Craniosynostosis is a rare and serious condition, seen in about one or two children per 2,000 births. A child is either born with the condition or develops it in their first few months.

Babies' skulls are not fully formed at birth. Instead, pieces of the skull are linked by soft areas called sutures. As a child grows, the sutures allow space for the brain and skull to grow; bones eventually grow where the sutures were. In babies with craniosynostosis, the pieces of the skull that should be separated by sutures have already fused, which means that their brain and skull don't have enough room to grow.

Children can have the condition by itself, called non-syndromic, or isolated, craniosynostosis, or they can have it along with other health issues, or syndromes — this is called syndromic craniosynostosis and is much rarer. The syndromes most commonly associated with craniosynostosis include:

  • Pfeiffer syndrome
  • Crouzon syndrome
  • Apert syndrome
  • Muenke syndrome
  • Saethre-Chotzen syndrome

Contact Us

Meet our team at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh's Cleft-Craniofacial Center and learn about our treatment options, or contact UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh at 412-692-5325.