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What is Craniosynostosis?

A newborn’s skull consists of several plates of soft bone, which eventually fuse together as he or she grows. If this fusion happens too early, or in an abnormal way, the condition is called craniosynostosis. Craniosynostosis can cause pressure on the growing brain and affect your baby’s eyesight and appearance. Johns Hopkins experts can help restore function and form to your child’s skull and face.

Craniosynostosis: Why Choose Johns Hopkins?

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  • Johns Hopkins pediatric neurosurgeons have treated many children with skull deformity caused by craniosynostosis and have access to a range of solutions to address the condition and its related problems.
  • Our specialists include experts in pediatric neurosurgery as well as others essential to achieving the best results for your child.
  • We offer a range of surgical options, including minimally invasive techniques when appropriate.
  • If surgery is recommended for your child’s craniosynostosis, you will find a dedicated and compassionate environment for healing at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, which offers comprehensive care and support for the entire family as well as the individual child.

Craniosynostosis | Fitz’s Story

When Fitz was born, it was obvious that his skull was misshapen. By 5 weeks old, Fitz had been diagnosed with craniosynostosis, and his parents met with pediatric neurosurgeon Eric Jackson. Watch to learn about the minimally invasive surgery performed by Jackson, which combined with a helmet is helping Fitz’s skull grow in a normal shape.

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Craniosynostosis Treatments

The best possible outcome of craniosynostosis depends on early detection and treatment, since some forms of craniosynostosis can affect your child’s brain and development.

A child with craniosynostosis requires frequent medical evaluations to ensure that the skull, facial bones and brain are developing normally. The medical team works with the child's family and may recommend genetic counseling to evaluate the parents of the child for any hereditary disorders that may tend to run in families.

Specific treatment for craniosynostosis may include:

Surgery to reduce the pressure in the head and correct the deformities of the face and skull bones. The timing of the surgery is important: before a child’s first birthday is when his or her bones are still very soft and easy to work with. This is why a prompt diagnosis from a specialist is important.

Helmet therapy to correct the shape of your child’s head as he or she grows.

Craniosynostosis Specialists

Our experts work closely together, along with experts in plastic surgery of the skull and face to achieve the best results possible. Our team works with you so that you understand your child’s condition and each step of the treatment plan, from your initial visit through longer term follow-up.


Alan R. Cohen, M.D.
Mari Groves, M.D.
Eric M. Jackson, M.D.
Shenandoah Robinson, M.D.

Advanced Practitioners

Stephanie Berry, P.A.-C
Kelly Hartnett, P.A.-C.
Heather Kerber, P.A.-C.

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Maryland Patients

Pediatric Neurosurgery: 410-955-7337


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