Scan of the month, Elouise


Scan of the month, Elouise

BY Jon W

25 May 2015

Elouise’s parents were acutely aware of the risk of flat head syndrome because their first child had developed severe plagiocephaly but was treated late with a headband after false reassurances from health professionals that it would “sort itself out” by 1 year old. He is now 2 years old and despite improvement from his headband treatment, the asymmetry is still quite noticeable.

Elouise’s parents were determined for the same not to happen again with their daughter but despite repositioning since birth, they noticed a flat spot at 1 month old. Even though they used a special pillow and Bumbo seat to keep her off that area as much as possible, the flatness progressed so they came for an assessment for a LOCband at Hampshire Orthotics Ltd in Southampton at age 4.8 months.

Lucy the orthotist says “at the first assessment the measures for plagiocephaly and brachycephaly were both low/ moderate at 7mm asymmetry and 91% cephalic ratio and there was no sign of neck tightness. Normally at this level, I would have recommended a programme of repositioning, however since the parents had already been repositioning since birth and hadn’t seen an improvement, we decided to provide the LOCband treatment to give her the best chance of a normal head shape.”

2 weeks later Elouise was fitted with a girly pink LOCband and after 5 days was wearing it full time 23 hours. The improvement was rapid and in less than 2 months of use, the head measured a very normal 1mm asymmetry and 87% cephalic ratio. The anterior fontanelle (soft spot on top of a baby’s head) was still open, meaning that the head was still quite mouldable so Elouise continued to wear the LOCband at night to prevent regression.

Mum and dad say “We would like to say how happy we are with Elouise's head shape in such a short amount of time, we couldn't have asked for better! It just goes to show that catching it early makes so much difference to the end result! We would like to thank everyone involved! “


This is very much dependent on how fast your baby is growing. The faster the growth, the more frequently your baby will be seen so that the helmet can be adjusted. In general, reviews will happen at two to four-week intervals.

The price of treatment covers:

  • all your baby’s required appointments from start to the end of treatment, no matter how many are required to achieve the improvement in head shape that you are happy with;
  • the cost of manufacturing the LOCband and supply of appropriate cleaning fluid for the band;
  • all reports to your GP/paediatrician/ cranial osteopath/physiotherapist, including a final scan report with objective measurements of change achieve;
  • full telephone support from your clinician during treatment, and, if necessary, extra review appointments at short notice.

Yes - All babies that have completed their course of treatment with us have achieved a measurable improvement in head shape. However, you don’t have to take our word for it.

Recent independent research conducted by a University Hospital in Germany has endorsed the treatment for babies with moderate or severe plagiocephaly.

A larger, retrospective study has just been published that found complete correction was achieved in 94.4% of babies treated with helmet therapy.

The results were conclusive: repositioning achieved acceptable correction in 77.1% of cases, but 15.8% were moved onto helmet therapy because re-positioning was not working. Meanwhile, 94.4% of the infants who started in the helmet-treated group achieved full correction, as did 96.1% of those who were transferred from the repositioning group into the helmet-treated group.

Further information can be found on our Plagiocephaly Research page.

If your baby has a temperature or a fever due to illness you must remove the band. The band can be put back on once the temperature has returned to normal.

The optimum age for treatment is between four and seven months.

This is because the skull is most malleable at this age and improvements to head shape tend to take less time and are more dramatic. That is not to say that helmet therapy should be ruled out if the baby is older than seven months. Routinely, babies up to the age of 16 months can be treated very successfully.

The cut off age is around 18 months when the fontanelles (soft spots on the head) are no longer malleable. As babies grow and develop at different rates, it is always worth checking if you are not sure. There have been cases where a baby’s fontanelles have not fused yet by the age of 18 months, who have achieved successful, but less-marked results with cranial remoulding therapy.

Torticollis is a condition in which a tight or shortened muscle in one side of the neck causes the head to tilt or turn to one side, resulting in the infant resting its head in the same position. In 2013, we analysed the data from all first appointments in our Kingston clinic and found that 20% of the babies examined had some kind of neck condition that was causing head immobility.

The clinics and clinicians that provide this treatment in the UK will have received similar training and experience. However, we are the only clinic that manufactures its own helmet and our clinicians are closely involved with the process for each individual helmet that we produce.

In addition, we do not restrict review appointments to a set number, we are extremely flexible and respond to individual parents' needs so that the best outcome can be achieved for each baby.

The LOCband is non-invasive and works by applying gentle, constant pressure over the areas of the baby’s skull that are most prominent while allowing unrestricted growth over the flattened areas. The band consists of a soft foam layer inside a thermoplastic shell. As the baby grows, the band will be adjusted frequently to gently guide the skull into a more symmetrical shape.