Saturday, January 19, 2008

Cranial Remolding Orthoses

I came across these pictures I took about a month ago at Carson's last "helmet appointment". Have I shared these already? My memory is so poor! And I'm too lazy to look up past posts... Anyway...Like his big sister, Carson was diagnosed shortly after birth with Congenital Muscular Torticollis and Plagiocephaly. (One side of the neck's muscles developed shorter than the other, causing the head to appear "tipped". Thus, when he lay, his head was in the same position over and over, causing part of his soft skull to flatten and the opposite side portrude.) For 8 months we did physical therapy at home to stretch the shorter neck muscle and he also wore a plastic helmet with foam lining. As his head grew, the lining was adjusted to allow for growth. It did not "push" the portruding side down. Rather it just encouraged the head to "fill in" on the flat area and discouraged the portruding area from growing out further. In short, it rounded out his head to a beautiful shape. This is Mike Beavers, the cranial specialist that oversaw Carson's progress. Mike works for Shields Orthotics in Holladay. (If any of you know of someone that's got a baby diagnosed with plagiocephaly, I'd highly recommend Shields! )There is also a picture of Carson during the head scan that took place each monthly visit. Isn't it ironic that the one time I bring my camera was the only time Carson cried? Normally, this didn't bother him at all. The neat thing about the scanning is it produced a 3-D computer image which enabled us to see to the millimeter Carson's growth and progress.


Josh and Kristen said...

You hadn't posted about this previously, and I am glad to know that someone else forgets things too. This was way interesting. I had the general idea about it before, but I like the pictures and I understand better now. (Guess I am a visual person) So is Carson good now or will he have follow-up appointments, or treatments?

Hope Taft said...

No, he is finished now. His head still wasn't "perfectly round", but the skull had hardened enough that it was kind of "as good as it was going to get". Plus he had pretty much outgrown his helmet and to order another would have been another $2K...

I feel good about his head, though. I feel like it's good enough that the average person isn't going to notice any imperfections. Besides, I think most of the human race does not have a PERFECT head, ya know? His ears were crooked (one further back than another) but unless you are looking at it "bird's eye view" you can't tell.

"The democracy will cease to exist when you TAKE AWAY from those who are willing to work AND GIVE to those who would not."

Thomas Jefferson