Sagittal Synostosis

What Is Sagittal Synostosis

Sagittal synostosis is the most common form of craniosynostosis, accounting for nearly 50% of all cases. Craniosynostosis refers to a condition in which the fibrous joints (the sutures) between the bones of a baby’s skull fuse premature.

The sagittal suture is the one that goes down the middle of the skull, all the way from the front to the back, and the growth of this suture that allows the skull to gain the necessary width.

If there is a premature fusion of the sagittal suture (which can happen when the skull grows to fast), it will be unable to widen properly, forcing other bones and sutures to make room for the growing brain. This causes the skull to be greater in length and narrower that average.

How We Treat Sagittal Synostosis

At the Cleft & Craniofacial Institute of Utah, we employ one of two common surgeries to treat sagittal synostosis.

  1. Strip Craniectomy. This is done in younger patients only, typically around the age of 3 months. Cuts are made along the fused sagittal suture. A period of therapeutic helmet molding is required for about 12 – 18 months after surgery.
  2. Subtotal Cranial Reconstruction. This surgery is typically performed when the child is between 3 – 9 months old. With this procedure, we can generally leave the forehead left to recontour on its own, so there is no need for a helmet after this surgery.

The treatment we specify will depend greatly on the age of the patient and the progression of the condition.

Additional Information

Contact us today for a consultation or to set up an appointment with the doctor.

Our Expertise

Cleft Lip/Palate

 Cleft lips and palates are one of the most common birth anomalies that affect about 1/600 newborn babies in the United States and around 1/500 in the state of Utah.  Clefts can range from quite mild to fairly severe.  Most of the time they are an isolated anomaly, but are also associated with a number of gentic syndromes.  Depending on what structures are involved dictates the complexity of the treatment plan.   Our team works together with you to make a customized plan for  your baby.  Even the most severe of cases should be able to be treated with only a few surgical interventions by a well coordinated and efficient team.






The skull is made up of several different bones that are joined together by growth plates called "sutures."  Craniosynostosis is a condition where one or more of these sutures fuse prematurely causing an abnormal head shape, decreased cranial volume, and the possiblilty of raised intracranial pressure.  The treatment of craniosynostosis is surgical and the goals of surgery are to increase the volume of the skul and to correct the abnormal appearance of the head shape.  There are two methods of surgical correction: open vault reconstruction and strip craniectomy.  Dr. Griner's extensive training allows him to perform these complex procedures without the need for blood transfusions and spending only 1-2 nights in the hospital. 



There are many syndromes that can affect the shape of the head and face and include Aperts, Crouzon, Pfieffer, Treacher Collins, and many others.  Most of these syndromes include many other complex anomalies and need to be treated in a coordinated approach in order to reduce the number of operations the child will need.  These syndromes are rare and require specialists that are very familiar with the intricacies of each syndrome.  Dr. Griner's unique training provided him with extensive experience with craniofacial syndromes and makes him the premier choice to guide the management of your child's needs in Utah.





Ear Deformities

Ear deformities range from mild changes in shape to the complete abscence of an ear and deafness.  Mild deformities can be treated in the first few weeks of life while others will require reconstructive surgery and hearing aids.  No matter the severity, our specialists work together to provide normal appearance and improved hearing.


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