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Plagiocephaly - What it is

​Plagiocephaly is the most common craniofacial problem today. Positional plagiocephaly, means a mis-shapen or uneven (asymmetrical) head shape. Plagiocephaly does not affect the development of a baby's brain, but if not treated it may change their physical appearance by causing uneven growth of their face and head.

Plagiocephaly if not treated it may change their physical appearance by causing uneven growth of their face and head - KKH

Plagiocephaly - Symptoms

​Signs and Symptoms

  • Asymmetrical head shape > 6weeks after birth.
  • Flattened spot at the back or side of the head

Plagiocephaly - How to prevent?

Plagiocephaly - Causes and Risk Factors

​Causes of Plagiocephaly

This can be caused by the position of the baby in the uterus during pregnancy, or can happen during birth. The bones of a newborn baby's head are thin and flexible so the head is soft and may change shape easily. Flattening of the head in one area may happen if a baby lies with its head in the same position for a long time.


  • Facial Asymmetry
  • Torticollis
  • Contracture of neck muscles
  • Jaw and / or speech clarity problems

Plagiocephaly - Diagnosis

Plagiocephaly - Treatments

Many children with deformational plagiocephaly do not need any treatment at all, because the condition can improve naturally as the child grows and begins to sit up. For children where treatment is necessary, it is important to see a specialist (plastic surgeon) between four and eight months of age. This is because the greatest amount of correction will occur before 12 months of age. Treatment is provided by a team including a plastic surgeon, orthotist and paediatric physiotherapist.

The most common forms of treatment are counter positioning and/or helmet therapy:

  • Counter positioning
  • Corrective helmets

Tests and Diagnosis

  • Orthopaedic assessments

Plagiocephaly - Preparing for surgery

Plagiocephaly - Post-surgery care

Plagiocephaly - Other Information

The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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