What is Crouzon Syndrome
Crouzon Syndrome is a rare, craniosynostosis syndromes disorder that affects one in every 60,000 newborns. Babies with Crouzon Syndrome have abnormal head shapes and sizes, large foreheads, beaked noses and bulging eyes. Breathing, vision and hearing problems are common with children who have Crouzon Syndrome. The center of their face may not be proportional and asymmetrical.
Babies with Crouzon Syndrome have premature fusing of certain cranial plates. The premature fusing of the skull bones alters the structure of the face and size of the head. It can, in severe cases limit the growth of the brain or cause pressure on the brain.
There is no cure for Crouzon Syndrome and many mild cases involve non-surgical treatment. Crouzon Syndrome is often detected and diagnosed within a child’s first few years of life. Sometimes, symptoms can occur during infancy or not become apparent until a child is three or four years old.
Crouzon Syndrome is caused by the same genetic defect as Beare-Stevenson Syndrome, Pfeiffer Syndrome, Jackson-Weiss Syndrome and Alpert Syndrome. Crouzon Syndrome can be accompanied by other conditions such as acanthosis nigricans or can cause Saethre-Chotzen Syndrome or other craniofacial issues.
Treating Crouzon’s Syndrome
Not all babies who have Crouzon Syndrome require surgery to treat their condition. Those with one or two prematurely fused sutures and those with the premature fusion of certain skull plates can be treated non-surgically using helmet therapy.
With helmet therapy, a baby will wear a series of custom-fitted helmets for a certain amount of time. The helmets will help the baby’s head size and shape to grow properly. Sometimes helmet therapy will be required after endoscopic surgery is done.
If surgery is needed the most common options are endoscopic and open surgery. Endoscopic surgery is recommended for babies six months of age and younger and who have only one prematurely closed suture. It is minimally invasive and often requires only a one-night stay in the hospital.
For older babies who have multiple premature sutures, open surgery may be recommended. With open surgery, multiple incisions are made in the scalp to correct the shape of the skull. The plates are held in correct position using absorbable screws. A multi-night hospital stay and blood transfusions are required after open surgery.
In very severe cases, multiple open surgeries may be necessary to correct the shape of a baby’s skull.
At the Cleft & Craniofacial Institute of Utah we provide diagnosis for Crouzon’s Syndrome as well as individualized treatment.
Regardless of your child’s age or the severity of his or hers Crouzon Syndrome, we will commit to proving the best possible treatment so he or she can live a healthy and happy life.
Untreated Crouzon Syndrome
The severity of Crouzon’s Syndrome varies from baby to baby. Depending on how many cranial sutures have closed and fused together and what plates of the head have prematurely closed, the risks of non-treatment can vary from mild facial deformities to severe pressure on the brain.
The most common complications that can occur in children with Crouzon’s Syndrome include:
- Vision and eye disease and infections
- Difficulty breathing
- Impaired brain growth
- Pressure on the brain
- Hearing loss
- Impaired speech
- Chronic headaches
- Cleft palate
- Crooked teeth and misaligned jaws (under or over-bite)
- Difficulty eating
- Acanthosis nigricans (a skin condition where dark, thick, velvety patches of skin develop)
- Self-esteem and confidence issues stemming from an abnormal facial appearance
- Possible intellectual disability
Contact the Cleft & Craniofacial Institute of Utah today to set up a consultation with the doctor and discover your child’s Crouzon Syndrome treatment options.