Nonsynostotic scaphocephaly: the so-called sticky sagittal suture

J Neurosurg. 2004 Aug;101(1 Suppl):16-20. doi: 10.3171/ped.2004.101.2.0016.


Object: Scaphocephaly is a common craniofacial abnormality that results from craniosynostosis of the sagittal suture. The authors have treated a group of infants who presented with nonsynostotic scaphocephaly, or a so-called sticky sagittal suture. The purpose of this study was to describe these patients with nonsynostotic scaphocephaly, the natural history of the disease, and its treatment.

Methods: At the University of Texas-Houston Medical School between 1996 and 2002, nine patients presented with nonsynostotic scaphocephaly. When the abnormality in patients was diagnosed prior to 12 months of age, the majority (seven of eight) were successfully managed by molding helmet therapy. The only child in this group in whom this therapy failed to correct the deformity was noted on repeated computerized tomography scanning to have true sagittal synostosis, which required surgical correction. One child with nonsynostotic scaphocephaly, who presented after 1 year of age, required surgical correction followed by postoperative molding helmet therapy.

Conclusions: Patients with nonsynostotic scaphocephaly appear to have sagittal synostosis. If treated early (at < 12 months of age), head shape in these patients can be normalized by molding helmet therapy. Surgery is reserved for older patients (> 12 months of age) or those with sagittal synostosis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Cranial Sutures / abnormalities
  • Craniofacial Abnormalities / therapy*
  • Craniosynostoses / pathology
  • Craniosynostoses / therapy*
  • Female
  • Head
  • Head Protective Devices
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Orthotic Devices*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome