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Cranial Helmets

Align Clinic is concerned with the design, function, and fitting of custom and pre-fabricated orthoses, which are devices that help support or correct musculoskeletal deformities. Here at Align Clinic, we strive to provide the highest quality products and services to all of our patients, based on our combined 60 years of experience. We treat each patient as an individual and not as a number. Below are a few of the many services and products we offer.

When you make an appointment at Align Clinic, our practitioners will provide a thorough evaluation of your individual needs including muscle testing, range of motion, sensation and gait assessment. Working with you and your physician or physical therapist, we will arrive at a treatment plan designed to assist you in meeting your goals.

During the fitting of your orthotic, you will be instructed on a break-in and wearing schedule along with precautions associated with the use of your orthotic. Instructions on use, function, skin inspection, and care and cleaning of your brace will also be provided to you. If any adjustments or repairs are required in time, our office will provide these services free of charge during our 90-day warranty period.

Introduction

As most infants with plagiocephaly have some degree of torticollis, a course of Physical Therapy and a home exercise program will usually be part of the recommended treatment. A physical therapist can teach you exercises to do with your baby involving stretching techniques that are gradual and progressive. Most moves will consist of stretching your child’s neck to the side opposite the tilt. Eventually, the neck muscles will be elongated and the neck will straighten itself out. Although they’re very simple, the exercises must be performed correctly.

For infants with severe positional plagiocephaly, doctors may prescribe a custom-molded Cranial Remolding Band, often called a cranial helmet, or head band. These work best if started between the ages of 3 to 6 months, when a child grows the fastest, and are usually less helpful after 12 months of age. They work by applying gentle but constant pressure on a baby’s growing skull in an effort to redirect the growth.

Here an orthotist is scanning an infant for a cranial remolding orthosis (CRO) with the highly accurate 3-D Scangogh II scanner. Look closely, and you can see the image appearing on the computer screen.

Align Clinic is proud to have cutting edge technology to use on our infant patients in order to have very accurate cranial remolding bands fabricated. In the not too distant past, it was necessary to cast the infant to obtain an impression of the skull, which usually resulted in an unhappy baby, unhappy parents, and yes, an unhappy practitioner!

The term Plagiocephaly is a general term that describes three different types of flattening on a child’s head, which are:
  • Plagiocephaly describes the flattening on one side on the child’s head. This type of flattening is commonly associated with a parallelogram shaped head, a shift forward of the ear and a more prominent forehead on the same side as the flattening and possibly the eyes appearing to have unequal positioning.
  • Brachycephaly describes a flattening across the back of a child’s head. This type of flattening is commonly associated with a loss of definition of the neck line, a wide head shape, prominent bony lumps above the ears, a bossed / protruding forehead and possibly an excessively high height of head.
  • Scaphycephaly is the most uncommon of the three. It describes a flattening on both sides of a child’s head, giving the overall impression of a long narrow head shape and is associated with an overly exaggerated neck line.

Align Clinic is very proud to be working with Orthomerica; the world leaders in infant cranial remolding bands (CRO).  Orthomerica has successfully treated over 100,000 babies across the world. They are the makers of the STARband Cranial Band, for which Orthomerica recently received FDA approval to fabricate using the ScanGogh II laser imager that we use here at Align Clinic. This scanner employs a Class I laser that has been proven to be harmless to eyes and skin and is no brighter than a common grocery store price gun.

Listed below are some excellent websites to help you understand Plagiocephaly and its treatment:

http://starbandkids.com/
http://community.babycenter.com/groups/a6688845/torticollisplagiocephaly_support