Children with abnormal head shapes between the ages of 3 and 18 months can benefit from cranial banding.
Abnormal Head Shape Screening Clinic
Offered At Charlotte Office
Early Detection Makes Effective Treatment Possible
Originally published Summer 2000

For newborns and infants with abnormal head shapes, Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates has begun a screening clinic designed to identify children who can benefit from early intervention. Most often, this intervention is in the form of a nonsurgical treatment known as cranial banding. Twice a month, our practice offers the screening clinic at the Charlotte office to assess infants with abnormal head shapes and determine if they are candidates for cranial bands or other forms of early interventional treatment including repositioning, neck exercises and, in rare cases, surgery.

“We see about 15 children during each session,” said practice neurosurgeon and pediatric subspecialist Scott McLanahan, M.D. “Most of those are new patients with the remainder returning for follow-up assessments.”

Fortunately, cranial bands have yielded satisfactory results for virtually all of these young patients. “Families are very pleased with the success of cranial banding in achieving more normal head shapes for their children,” said Dr. McLanahan.

After determining the appropriateness of cranial banding, Dr. McLanahan and Michael Heafner, M.D., another pediatric subspecialist at Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates, refer these infants to a local office of Cranial Technologies where the actual treatment program is implemented. Cranial Technologies is the Phoenix-based company which developed cranial banding and which owns and operates offices around the country.

The cranial band, or orthosis, is often described as “braces for the head” as it helps to reshape the child’s skull, encouraging growth in the desired directions. Abnormal head shapes that are treatable with banding can be caused by a variety of factors including premature birth, restrictive intrauterine positioning, cervical (neck) abnormalities and even preferential sleeping positions.

Infants as young as three months old can be fitted with an orthosis. The majority begin treatment between five and seven months of age, while children up to 18 months of age can still derive some benefit from cranial banding. The treatment typically lasts three to four months, at which point the child is reevaluated and, sometimes, banding is continued with a second cranial band.

For more information about cranial banding or to refer a patient to our cranial banding clinic, call at 800-344-6716 or
click here.

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