What Can Be Done For A Flat Spot On The Back Of The Head Of A Teenager?

Q: Dr. Eppley,  I have a 16 yr. old son who was diagnosed with plagiocephaly at a year old.  He wore a helmet for several months and I’ve tried various therapies over the years but at 16 his head is still a little flat on the back right side of his head.  It’s really only noticeable from a bird’s eye view and not straight on.  He never talks to me about it and it is slight but I would like to offer him an alternative if it becomes bothersome to him.  I’ve read about the injectable kryptonite and want to learn more about this.  My son is a soccer player so I wanted to ask you if heading the ball would be an issue with this if he were to ever have the procedure done.  Thanks so much!

A: The surgery that I have evolved to today with a unilateral occipital plagiocephaly is a minimal incision cranioplasty using PMMA.  (acrylic bone cement) The kryptonite material is no longer available. This is the same technique only using a different material. Through a 1.5 inch incision in the scalp, the material is placed into position using a funnel technique and then shaped externally as it sets. Most patients need somewhere between 30 and 60 grams of material to provide better skull symmetry between the two sides. This material is actually stronger than bone so it is more resistant to blunt head trauma than your native skull bone.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana