More Information

  • What Is Plagiocephaly?

    Since the American Academy of Pediatrics implemented the “Back is Best” program, the incidence of deformational plagiocephaly has risen dramatically. Plagiocephaly is caused by in-utero positioning, torticollis (tightness of the neck muscle), multiple births, breech positioning, lying and sleeping on their back without the infant changing head position and lack of tummy time.

    In some cases, deformation on one side of the back of the head is evident immediately after birth. Multiple births and torticollis greatly increase the incidence of plagiocephaly. Deformation of the head also occurs because infants are kept in car or bouncy seats for long periods of time for convenience or to decrease reflux.

    Without repositioning your infant’s head to the opposite side of flattening, the affected side worsens quickly due to the malleability of the infant skull during the first few months of life. This is exacerbated because the majority of the time, they are on their backs and therefore do not tolerate tummy time, quickly becoming fussy after a short period being on their tummies.

    Facial asymmetry can occur with deformational plagiocephaly. One eye may appear smaller and lower than the other, one cheek may appear fuller that the other, the ears will be misaligned and the face may present with a C-shape to it.

    Plagiocephaly includes brachycephaly, scaphocephaly and trigonocephaly.

  • Torticollis

    Congenital muscular torticollis is a congenital disorder that limits the ability of your infant to rotate his/her neck to one side because of tightening or shortening of the sternocleidomastoid neck muscle. You may feel a lump in your infant’s neck or you may just notice that he/she “prefers” to look to one side. The earlier torticollis is diagnosed, the faster normal range of motion can be restored thereby decreasing the likelihood of deformational plagiocephaly and facial asymmetry. Torticollis is often present at birth but may not be noticed until six to eight weeks of age after he/she has a growth spurt.

    Torticollis usually affects the shoulder, trunk and hip. It is important that your infant see a pediatric physical therapist to treat torticollis. For more information, please ask your pediatrician or call us at MedEast for pediatric physical therapists in your area.

  • The Cranial Band

    If you have tried repositioning your infant and the asymmetry or flatness has worsened, a custom cranial band is a non-invasive approach to improve your infant’s head shape and facial asymmetry. The earlier the treatment begins, the better the results will be. Many factors including age, severity and compliance will determine the length of time your infant will wear the band. The typical time frame is four to six months.

    The StarBand is approved for the treatment of plagiocephaly and post-operative craniosynostosis by the FDA.

    The STARScanner is a one-of-a kind system that safely, quickly and accurately scans and analyzes your infant’s head shape.

    If you are concerned that your infant has deformational plagiocephaly, speak with your pediatrician or pediatric plastic surgeon or call us for a complimentary scan to accurately evaluate your infant.

Family Stories

Family Story: Jack

Jack

When your child is born, it is almost impossible to think he or she is anything but perfect. In my case, it was no different! Jack was the most beautify baby I had ever seen! From the moment I first held him, I had never felt so much love come over me. It is because of this love and adoration that I was completely oblivious to the fact that he was NOT PERFECT in everyway.

During Jack’s five-month visit to his Pediatrician, I was told that Jack’s head was not shaping correctly. His doctor asked, “Mrs. Newhard, have you ever noticed the flat spot on the back of Jack’s skull? Do you see that one ear lies lower than the other on his face? Have you ever heard of a cranial helmet?” Of course, my reply for all three questions was a big, “NO!”

I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. Tears streamed down my face immediately, and I was so confused as to what this all meant. Jack’s pediatrician recommended that we get a second opinion from an orthopedist. He gave us the number and information for MedEast Post-Op and Surgical, Inc. His daughter had also needed a helmet, and he was very pleased with his interaction with the company.

The day we met Allison from MedEast was the complete opposite of what I had expected. I thought for sure hearing the news that my son was going to need a helmet would be one of the worst days of my life. However, the helmet has been Jack’s greatest blessing. It was not until we were introduced to the possibility of a helmet, that I noticed how round Jack’s head actually was. It was shaped like a pumpkin. The more I looked at pictures of his head, the more I could see how much a helmet was needed. My husband and I decided to commit to it 100%. Once the helmet was made, we placed it on Jack’s head immediately. We only took it off when bathing and changing him. Jack quickly became accustomed to it and before we knew it, it almost became part of him.

Although the changes were gradual, the end product is nothing short of amazing. Jack looks completely different. He now looks perfect! Allison’s guidance and support through this process has been astounding. She never patronized me for asking the same questions over and over or became annoyed with my continual need to analyze every spot on my son’s head. She promised me that it would all eventually “even out” and his head would start to expand front to back, rather than side to side. It took a little while, but every promise she made came true.

I could not be happier! As a parent, it is so reassuring to know that there are people who care about your child and will take the time to make him/her perfect. Please do not be upset when you hear your child is in need of a helmet. It will make your child’s future so much brighter, and I promise you the advantages out weight any disadvantages. The helmet has truly been a blessing to Jack and our family.

Family Story: Holly

Holly

It’s funny you can spend every moment with your child and still not notice she isn’t turning her head to the left.

When our pediatrician diagnosed our daughter Holly’s torticollis at her two month visit, I learned the flattening on the right side of her head wasn’t normal, and needed correcting. We began physical therapy immediately. Holly’s progress was encouraging, so we were fixing the cause, but not yet the effect.

My physical therapist classified Holly as having a moderate case of plagiocephaly. At first I was very optimistic that towels and repositioning would fix the issue, and I was going to avoid these “helmets” I had little understanding of. After a month, I started to be more objective. Research revealed the helmet process could start at three months, and I didn’t want to miss any more growth spurts. I remember the night I came to the realization, and then acceptance, that Holly was helmet bound. Once you get it through your own head your child needs a helmet, you can’t get one on her head fast enough.

I was able to make an appointment that week with MedEast Post-Op and Surgical, Inc. I was happy there was a facility in Blue Bell, a reasonable drive from my home. I met with Allison, who diagnosed my daughter as an extreme case. In a way, it validated my sense of mother’s intuition. I felt better knowing I may have missed the warning signs of torticollis, but at least I was being as proactive as possible in correcting the resulting problem. I had walked in with fears of traumatic plaster molds on unhappy campers. Allison put a little stocking on my daughter’s head and laid her on the STARscanner™. I thought this was just to perform an assessment, but when I learned this created the mold as well, I was amazed… and relieved.

The next week, I kissed Holly’s head often. I was mourning the loss of snuggle time with my baby in anticipation of the helmet. We went in for our first fitting, and there it was, this pink round shell. Holly did not even fuss when Allison put it on. Her little smiles hadn’t gone anywhere. I had read blogs from other parents who said the babies really didn’t mind, and they were right. When it comes to cranial orthotics, it’s the parents that have the hardest time adjusting.

Allison has been so kind and accessible throughout this ordeal. Her office is child friendly for my older daughter, making bi-weekly adjustments less of a hassle. When I was looking at Holly in the mirror one day, I had a minor freak out where I noticed her facial asymmetry for the first time. I emailed Allison and she responded promptly, and talked me down from the ledge with the objectivity and knowledge of an expert in her field. I am always amazed with her artisanship, knowing where and when to adjust the helmet. She is not just a provider of durable medical equipment, she is a coach and a craftsman.

The improvements thus far have been wonderful, and I know they will only get better with time. To those parents nervously researching their options, please know your little one is in good hands, and you are making the right decision.

Family Story: Noah

Cranial Helmets Family Study - Noah

When we found out our 7 month old son needed a cranial helmet, we were devastated. As first time parents, we didn’t want to hear there was anything ‘wrong’ with our son. However, right away, Allison helped make this difficult experience a positive one with her friendly and relaxed demeanor. She always gave our son special attention, and he loved coming to see her and play with the toys. After several months of wearing the helmet, there was no longer any noticeable flatness with his head, and we were glad Allison helped us make the decision to get the helmet for him.

Family Story: Carolyn

Carolyn

Allison was so great to work with, and my daughter, Carolyn never even noticed her helmet. We expected she’d have to wear it for over 6 months full time, but she ended up switching to just nights at around the 4 month mark and was completely finished with it after about 5.5 months. Allison’s schedule was very flexible and my kids always loved going to her office to play with all the toys 🙂 I would recommend MedEast, and Allison, to anyone, and I would choose them all over again!

-Tara Clark

Testimonials

Our son was born with a very severe case of torticollis and plagiocephaly. He received his first helmet at three months of age. Allison Kimura was amazing. Countless visits for fittings and several helmets, she was there for us any time we needed her. We are so thankful that we chose MedEast Post-Op and Surgical along with Allison. Our son is now 4 years old and you would never know how severe his plagiocephaly was. We’ve had professionals who work with children and know all about plagiocephaly and they were shocked whenthey found out he had helmets. He is running around like a normal little boy. He is excelling in preschool and making us so proud and happy every day! We have no doubt that if not for MedEast Post Op and the expertise of Allison Kimura, our child would not be where he is today developmentally, physically and mentally. We cannot thank you/Allison enough.

-Kelly Boyer

My daughter Claire has always walked on her toes. My nephews and I also share this trait. We used to think it was adorable, but she seemed to take it to the next level. Her toenails would wear down, and her shoes would fall apart so fast. Our pediatrician sent us to an orthopedic specialist who recommended physical therapy. We did rounds of serial casting, and we purchased the recommended (but incorrect) orthotics. The therapy seemed to not address the issues, and my daughter was frustrated and unhappy. After following every direction we were given, we walked away from the program with few results. A year later, I asked my daughter to stand on flat feet. This made her bend forward at the waist. She literally could no longer stand up. I went back to the orthopedic doctor, who pointed us right back to that same physical therapist down the hall. I could not go through the motions one more time. I knew where that road led. I did everything the doctors told me, without success. With nothing to lose, I gained the confidence to map our own route. I contacted Allison Kimura with MedEast Ortho because she was so helpful with my younger daughter’s cranial helmet. She recommended a day and night orthotic we had never seen before. My husband used to draw ideas of what he thought Claire needed, and Allison made those sketches a reality. She also recommended a better physical therapy office that really helped Claire meet her goals. Allison picked up the pieces where a leading children’s hospital failed my daughter. She went above and beyond, and is instrumental in Claire’s success. If my youngest hadn’t needed a cranial helmet, I don’t know how I ever would have been able to help my oldest.

-Amber Lynn Titus

Allison is awesome – always willing to help at any time. She is positive, professional, friendly and one of our favorite people. We love her.

-Allison S Kay

Our experience with MedEast was beyond exceptional. Allison not only took incredible care of our son Levi, but supported our daughter soon after she was born, resulting in her not needing a helmet. We cannot recommend her or MedEast enough.

-Kelly Curry

My husband and I were very pleased with the services we received from MedEast. We couldn’t be happier with the outcome of our son’s procedure. Allison was so helpful throughout the entire process giving us PT recommendations as well as helping us through the insurance process. I would use their services again as well as recommend them! Thank you!

-Esther Comer

Cranial Head Shapes

Cranial Head Shapes Brachycephaly

Brachycephaly

Cranial-Head-Shapes Combo Brachy Plagio

Combo Brachy/Plagio

Cranial Head Shapes Lambdoid

Lambdoid

Plagiocephaly

Cranial Head Shapes Sagittal Synostosis

Sagittal Synostosis

Cranial Head Shapes Scaphocephaly

Scaphocephaly