What Type Of Forehead Cranioplasty Do I Need?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in a cranioplasty. I have a depression in my forehead for the past twelve years. I am twenty-two years of age and this depression started showing around age ten and has just been there ever since. It makes me feel alien, I don’t like taking pictures, I only comb my hair in one style to cover it kind of and I really think that I would be a more confident person had I have a normal forehead. I desire a “normal” forehead, without a sink in it :(. I have attached pictures of what it looks like.

A: In looking at your pictures, what you have is a classic case of what is known as linear scleroderma which creates a deformity known as the ‘coup de saber’ (cut of the saber) effect when it appears on the forehead. It is a condition that usually develops as a child and causes a loss of fat and an indentation in the bone. It is progressive and the tissue atrophy effect eventually burns itself out by the time one is a young adult in most cases. Its causes is not really understood and is currently felt to be related somehow to the nerves. When it appears on the forehead, it usually follows along the line of the first division of the trigeminal nerve. (supraorbital nerve which comes out of the brow bone and extends vertically upward into the forehead) This is why you have a very groove going upward from your brow bone, hence the description ‘cut of the saber’.

I can not tell completely from the pictures about the quality of the overlying skin, which usually is thinned and mottled in color although your skin along the groove does not appear so. (but the pictures are fuzzy) Treatment could consist of fat injections, a minimal incision endoscopic cranioplasty for bone augmentation or a combination of both. I would know exactly what to do by feeling it but I suspect it ail requires a combined fat and bone augmentation technique for optimal forehead augmentation contour improvement.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana