23 August 2016
Harry was truly a “miracle baby” being born after years of fertility issues and advanced IVF. He had been breech throughout the pregnancy and was born term by planned c-section.
At birth, mum and dad noticed that he had a flat head on one side and asymmetrical cheeks. At his 8 week check, because his head and face had got worse and he always turned his head to the left, he was referred to a paediatric consultant who he saw at 5 months old.
Harry was diagnosed with torticollis (stiff neck to one side) and plagiocephaly and Harry’s parents were advised to reposition. This did reduce the flatness and Harry started turning his head both ways; however, his parents were still concerned about his face shape. His physiotherapist recommended that they consider a cranial remoulding band.
At just over 7 months, Harry was seen by Lucy at Hampshire Orthotics ltd in Southampton and his head measured a very severe 24mm left plagiocephaly with significant ear, forehead and cheek involvement. The family held a sponsored walk in November with the highlight of dad sporting a pink bikini (brrrr!) and raised not only enough for the LOCband treatment, a fantastic paint job of Captain America but also a whopping £1326 for the neonatal unit at St Richards hospital in Portsmouth which will go towards vital lifesaving equipment for babies.
Harry wore the LOCband 22-23 hours per day for 7 months and his final scan shows he got down to 9mm plagiocephaly with improved symmetry of his ears, cheeks and forehead.
Right from the beginning, we got the answers that we were looking for and left the clinic knowing what we were going to do. Everything just felt really simple every time we went for an appointment. I would definitely recommend LOC to other parents, and if anyone is in doubt about whether they should go for treatment, I’d say take advantage of the free consultation, because it was so worth it to go and get confirmation. I’m so happy I did it.
When we visited LOC there was no sales pitch or pressure – just honest, helpful advice and support. We’re very happy with the service we received from LOC and, most of all, we are delighted with the results!
At the start of the treatment, Saeed told us that we could expect the cephalic ratio to reduce by nine or ten points at most. In fact, it has reduced by 109 to 94. That’s a reduction of 15 points which is more than any of us hoped for. And his asymmetry has reduced from 10mm to just 1mm. We were so happy with the results that we felt it was a natural breakpoint for him and we were advised that the treatment is less effective the older a child is.
Mum, Vicky says “thanks to the lovely Lucy for everything you have done for our son. I'll never forget the kindness you showed our family and how much your professional knowledge has helped our boy.”
If you are concerned about your baby’s head and would like a fast, free opinion from one of LOC’s experienced clinicians, you can use the LOC flat head diagnosis form to upload photos of your baby’s head and contact details. A LOC clinician will respond within 24 hours.
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:
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.