Hear Lee George’s story and how he turned to BioTech Limb and Brace for a custom prosthesis that allows him to ride his motorcycle!
What Are the Symptoms?
One of the first signs that parents will often notice is that their baby has a misshapen head. There are a few other things that can cause a misshapen head, such as the cone-shaped appearance a baby’s head may have right after birth from traveling through the birth canal, or a flat spot on the back of the head from a lack of tummy time.
Therefore, it’s important to visit your doctor if you suspect any abnormalities to get a proper diagnosis.
Another sign of craniosynostosis is a missing fontanelle, commonly known of as a soft spot. The soft spot is the space that is filled in when the cranial sutures fuse. If you notice that your infant is missing a soft spot or if there is a ridge where the soft spot should be, this is a sign that he or she may have craniosynostosis.
The final sign is a lack of head growth or extremely slow head growth. At your infant’s pediatrician visits, the doctor will measure their head circumference and chart the growth.
What Are the Risks?
The prognosis is good for infants who are diagnosed early. However, if left untreated craniosynostosis can cause dangerously high pressure in the brain or even developmental delays. The brain is still growing in infants and needs enough room to properly expand.
How Is Craniosynostosis Treated?
The first step in treating craniosynostosis is surgery. During surgery the fused bone is removed, opening up space for the skull to grow. The younger the child is at the time of surgery, the better. The surgeon can use smaller incisions and the growing brain can help reshape the skull as the child gets older.
After surgery, the child will need to wear a special helmet for up to a year to reshape the head. This helmet is typically worn 24 hours a day so comfort and proper fit is very important – this is where BioTech comes in!
BioTech Can Create a Custom Device for Cranial Remodeling
If your child has been diagnosed with craniosynostosis, BioTech can help create a custom helmet for your little one.
We create a 3D scan of the child’s head that records detailed measurements. This is a non-invasive, pain-free procedure that allows us to create a comfortable helmet.
The child is then fitted with a lightweight, plastic and foam orthosis to remold the head into the proper shape.
This condition is a cranial deformation that impacts 18 to 28 percent of infants. The rise of this condition is directly related to how we let infants sleep today – on their backs for long periods of time. This comes from a “Back to Sleep” campaign launched in 1992 from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Cranial remodeling is a treatment that was created as a way to combat and ultimately treat cranial asymmetry. Here, we’ll explain cranial asymmetry and then discuss how cranial remodeling can help.
Cranial Asymmetry Defined
Cranial asymmetry is when an infant’s skull becomes deformed. Sometimes this happens prior to birth, or even during birth; other times it happens due to how the baby sleeps. The main cause is a restriction of growth in a fixed area.
There are a few different types of cranial asymmetry:
- Plagiocephaly: when one side of the back of the infant’s head is flat, resulting in a forehead bulge on the same side
- Brachycephaly: when the back of the head is flattened symmetrically
- Scaphocephaly: when the infant’s head is long from the front to the back and narrow from one side to the other
Cranial asymmetry can be prevented or treated early on through the use of cradling or repositioning. If a treatment plan hasn’t happened prior to three months of age, however, deformity could result, which means cranial remodeling might be needed.
Cranial Remodeling Explained
Cranial remodeling is a treatment process designed to correct the deformities caused by cranial asymmetry.
This treatment starts at three months of age and can be performed all the way up to 18 months. It involves carefully measuring your infant’s head and obtaining precise measurements that enable the creation of a special helmet that is then fitted to the infant.
The helmets themselves are made of a hard outer shell constructed from plastic and lined with foam that ensures a snug but comfortable fit for the infant.
By wearing this helmet 23-24 hours per day (removed only to clean it), the infant will start to have his or her head gently remodeled back into correct shape and alignment. Your orthotic specialist will periodically measure and evaluate the progress made by the helmet over the next few months (treatment typically lasts three to four months).
The ideal end result is a correctly aligned head free of major deformities.
If you think your infant may have cranial asymmetry and may be in need of a consultation for a cranial helmet to correct the condition, then please contact BioTech.
In November of 2003, Cindy Crook went into labor at only 32 weeks pregnant. She had a beautiful daughter, Mary Kathryn, that she affectionately calls Katy. As Katy got older it became evident that she was experiencing neurological delays.
One of her biggest struggles was walking. Cindy was committed to doing everything possible to help her daughter. She made the decision to contact Eric at BioTech.
BioTech Fitted Katy with a Custom Brace
Cindy brought her daughter to BioTech and Eric casted her foot. He was then able to create a brace that fit her perfectly. Thanks to the support of the brace, Katy was able to walk with assistance. For several years, this was an effective solution.
Getting Older Presents New Challenges
Now that Katy is 11 years old, walking has become more difficult. She is taller and bigger. This makes it a much bigger challenge to continue walking. Understandably, this has been really tough for Cindy. It’s hard, as a parent, to see your child wanting to walk and collapsing because she’s simply not able.
Now, more than ever, Cindy is dedicated to giving her daughter every resource necessary to walk. She says,”As long as she can take that one step, I’m going to continue to push her. I’m not going to give up until she absolutely won’t do anymore.”
It’s Personal with BioTech
When Cindy expressed her concerns to Eric at BioTech, he was completely supportive. He told her,”I’ve got your back” and assured her that he is going to do everything he can to help Katy continue to walk.
For Eric, this isn’t just a job. It’s very personal to him. He grew up with a sister who had special needs due to cerebral palsy. Because of his own experiences, he takes his job very seriously and is committed to providing the highest quality service to help families like the Crook family.
Do You Need Orthotic or Prosthetic Services? Contact BioTech Today!
At BioTech, our patients become our family. Join our family today and learn how we can help you achieve your possibilities!
Amputation surgery can be an overwhelming experience. The time you spend recovering in the hospital can seem like a blur in your memory as you work to process all of the information and cope with your new life. Understandably so, it can be easy to forget the post-op self-care tips you received at discharge.
At BioTech we understand the importance of proper self-care while healing from your amputation surgery. A proper healing process is key to the effective use of a future prosthesis.
Below are some ways to make sure your healing process goes as smoothly as possible after your amputation surgery.
#1: Follow Doctor’s Orders
Your doctor knows exactly what you need to do for the best outcome of your surgery. Don’t ignore his or her instructions. If you have a question about anything the doctor has told you to do, make sure you express your concerns and get their advice. Never stop any of your treatment without consulting with your doctor first.
Make sure you are positioning your body based on your doctor’s instructions. Laying on your stomach for 20 minutes, three to four times each day, will help to stretch out your hip muscle. Always sit with your stump straight and level and avoid turning it in or out from your body. If you will be lying down for a long period of time, keep your stump elevated to avoid swelling.
If you doctor prescribes you medicine, take it for as long as prescribed. If your doctor orders physical therapy, keep going until your doctor tells you it’s time to stop. If you physician tells you to keep your stump wrapped, wrap it daily and tighten it when it gets loose. Only take it off to shower.
Realizing that your doctor knows best will go a long way towards your healing; therefore, make sure you follow his or her instructions directly for best results now and in the future.
#2: Choose a Healthy Lifestyle
Some of the things that will greatly benefit your healing are the same things that keep anyone healthy. Proper nutrition and exercise will expedite your healing process and keep you in better shape.
Start by switching to a high protein diet. Aim for a protein intake of 1.5-2 grams per kilogram of body weight daily. Limit your sugar as well for the best results. Diabetic amputees should especially control their glucose levels for proper healing.
Another great way to help with healing while improving your overall health is to stop smoking. Ideally, smoking should have ceased four to eight weeks before surgery, but it’s never too late to quit if you did not kick the habit before your operation. Ceasing smoking immediately can greatly reduce post-op complications!
#3: Strengthen Your Body
The stronger your body, the quicker you will recover and the greater likelihood you will be able to successfully adapt to a new prosthesis. You need to build your strength and your endurance.
Doing a good cardio workout, such as swimming, will build up your endurance and improve your general health. Also, because you will have a new center of gravity, balance exercises will be of great benefit. Before engaging in any exercise, consult with your physician first to make sure you are ready.
If you have a lower limb amputation, use weights or resistance bands to work your upper body. Using a walker or wheelchair will require more use of your arms than you are probably used to; therefore, strengthening your arms goes a long way at helping you adapt to your post-op lifestyle.
Working your core helps support your whole body. You can work your core while seated or even in bed. Your physical therapist can give you the best exercises for strengthening your core during your healing process.
Also remember that your unaffected limb will likely be carrying more of the workload now; therefore, be sure to condition it properly. At the same time, you don’t want to ignore the stump. A strong stump is the foundation of proper prosthesis use! Even when it’s hard and even when you would rather do anything but exercise, follow the instructions given to you by your physical therapist. Later, you will be glad that you took their advice.
Contact BioTech Limb and Brace Today for Your Custom Prosthetic Needs
BioTech offers custom prosthetics that will help give you amazing function, helping you to recognize your possibilities!
Our goal is to create a limb that fits you perfectly with the utmost level of comfort and convenience. Contact BioTech today to learn more about how we can help.
Noah Galloway has inspired the entire nation on Dancing with the Stars over the last few weeks. Take a minute to learn more about Noah’s story, including how he became a double amputee.
Hear Joon Reid’s story and learn more about his experiences with BioTech Limb & Brace in Birmingham, Alabama.
Rich Mixon is a kitchen designer with Lowes. He is now pain free and planning to run a half marathon!