Principles: Since the recommendation that infants sleep in the supine position, there has been an increase in cases of posterior positional plagiocephaly. Even though this condition is a purely cosmetic problem, if it is severe it may affect the child psychologically. Positioning may help in mild or moderate cases, but more active treatment may be necessary in severe cases.
Methods: A prospective study of 260 children treated by dynamic orthotic cranioplasty for posterior positional plagiocephaly was conducted in Lausanne from 1995 to 2001. Construction of these cranial remodelling helmets is decribed in detail.
Results: The treatment lasted 3 months on average, was effective, well tolerated, and had zero morbidity. The ideal period for initiating this therapy is between the ages of 4 and 6 months.
Conclusion: The remodelling helmet is a convincing option which can be recommended in infants with posterior positional plagiocephaly whose skull deformity is not satisfactorily corrected by physiotherapy. It should always be used before surgery is considered for patients with recognised positional plagiocephaly in the first year of life.