Sagittal craniosynostosis is traditionally considered to be a surgical condition. Poor results of simple suturectomy follow from early reclosure of the suture. A wider craniectomy or use of interposing materials has not improved the outcome. However, endoscopic suturectomy supplemented with postoperative use of a molding helmet has shown good results. Because suturectomy reunites within 8–12 weeks of surgery, the authors questioned if the improved outcome was primarily related to use of the helmet.
In 4 patients whose families opted for calvarial reconstruction when the infant was 4–6 months old, instead of endoscopic suturectomy, a molding helmet was used to minimize compensatory changes in the interim. Patients underwent 3D CT scanning to confirm craniosynostosis. Follow-up visits were made at intervals of 4 weeks for adjustment of the helmet, head circumference measurements, clinical photographs, and cranial index measurement.
There was significant improvement in the head shape within 6 weeks of use of the molding helmet. The cranial index score improved from a mean (± SD) of 67% ± 3% to 75% ± 2%.
These cases demonstrate that molding helmets improve head shape even without a suturectomy in patients with sagittal craniosynostosis, challenging the traditional view.