Plagiocephaly and brachycephaly have both been successfully treated with helmets for many years. Discover some treatment success stories below – simply click a child’s name from the list on the left to view their story.
Parent(s): Bev and Andy
Location: Basildon, Essex
Bev and Andy first noticed Abbie's flat spot in August 2004 when she was around six weeks old. Her parents already knew a little about plagiocephaly as the son of some friends had recently been fitted with a STARband™ helmet.
Bev spoke to her health visitor, who advised her not to worry. "It'll pop out," she said. When Abbie had her six-week check-up, Bev mentioned it to the doctor – he said: "I've seen babies with much worse flat spots." Bev had even mentioned plagio to her midwife when she first had Abbie: he didn't know anything about it and said that it was possible that her friend's baby got 'it' while in the womb!
As her friend told Bev a little about what she was doing with her son – repositioning, sidelining, 'tummy time' and neck exercises – Bev began to do the same with Abbie as she was getting increasingly worried that her flat spot was getting worse. At the same time she was constantly seeking the help of her doctor and health visitor – and still they were not concerned by how flat Abbie's head was at this point.
Finally, when Abbie was nearly five and a half months, Bev's friend – whose son had nearly finished his treatment and his head was looking fantastic – managed to get her an appointment with her doctor. The doctor assessed that Abbie's flat spot wasn't that serious, but would refer the family to a physiotherapist at Basildon Hospital.
Two months later Abbie was seen by a physio who confirmed that she had plagio and also torticollis, which meant a course of physiotherapy before the band could even be considered. After two months of physio, Abbie was measured at 11mm misalignment. The tilt in her neck had been corrected but the flat spot had not improved and in fact had got worse. By this point it had extended to the back of the head and Abbie had developed brachycephaly, another form of flattening.
Abbie was nearly seven months old and time was ticking – her parents had to make a decision there and then as a specialist was in London the following day and could see her. So they did it: Abbie was fitted with her STARband on 19 January and within ten days a massive improvement was evident. As Bev says, "so far so good – Abbie's head is looking beautiful, and if the specialist says (at the next check-up) that's the best it's ever going to get, I can live with that and so can Abbie".
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