Types of Craniosynostosis
Each type of craniosynostosis has unique symptoms depending on the skull sutures (joints) and bones that grow together too soon.
Craniosynostosis has four main types named according to the affected suture.
Learn about the structure of a newborn baby’s skull.
Sagittal synostosis is the most common single suture synostosis. It mainly affects males. The sagittal suture is on top of the head and runs from the soft spot to the back of the head. When this suture closes before it should, it can cause:
- Long and narrow shaped head, known as scaphocephaly
- Noticeable, protruding forehead
- Pointed back of the head
Your baby’s head may look different depending on whether the suture closes entirely or only part of it closes. There’s a low risk of abnormal brain growth and development with this type of craniosynostosis.
Coronal synostosis can affect one or both sides of the forehead and frontal lobe. The condition is unicoronal synostosis when a single coronal suture closes too soon. With coronal synostosis, you may notice:
- Deviated (pointed away) nose
- Elevated and tilted eye socket
- Protruding eyes
- Recessed and flattened forehead
- Tilting head to prevent seeing double
Metopic synostosis affects the middle suture at the front of a baby’s forehead that separates the frontal bones. When this suture closes early, it can restrict normal forehead and brain growth.
It can cause:
- Narrow forehead and triangular appearance of the skull
- Smaller space between the eyes
- Upward bump or midline ridge on the forehead
- Wide back of the skull due to the brain growing in that direction
Lambdoidal synostosis is the least common type of craniosynostosis. The lambdoid suture runs along the backside of your baby’s head. If it closes too early, it can cause:
- Bulge behind the ear on the affected side
- Flattening of the back of the head on one side
- Lower-positioned ear on the affected side
- Sideways tilted skull