Positional plagiocephaly in infants is frequent. As well as positioning, physiotherapy, and osteopathy, helmet therapy is an effective treatment option. The outcome also depends on the timely initiation of treatment. We investigated the preclinical pathways to treatment. Parents of 218 affected children were interviewed. Data were collected regarding detection and the treatments used prior to the first craniofacial consultation at the study clinic in Germany. Descriptive and statistical analyses were performed. For 78.4% of the children, the cranial deformities were first detected at =4 months of age. One hundred and twenty-two children received helmet therapy. Parents consulted the paediatrician with a mean latency of 0.4 months; 3.3 months passed until the first craniofacial consultation. Approximately 90% were treated with repositioning and 75.2% received additional physiotherapy or osteopathy prior to presentation. Children treated with physiotherapy/osteopathy presented significantly later (P=0.023). The time lapse to craniofacial consultation was not significantly different between children with and without later helmet therapy. We identified a relevant delay between the detection of positional cranial deformity and consultation with a craniofacial specialist. For affected children, this may potentially compromise the outcome of helmet therapy. Early referral to a specialist and if necessary the simultaneous application of different treatments should be preferred.
Kluba, S Lypke, J Kraut, W Krimmel, M Haas-Lude, K Reinert, S eng Denmark Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2014 Oct;43(10):1171-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ijom.2014.05.011. Epub 2014 Jul 15.