LOC’s cranial remoulding treatment

This baby had severe Brachycephaly and Plagiocephaly – not anymore thanks to LOC’s cranial remoulding treatment.

This baby had a normal birth and there were no complications. When he was about 4 months old, his parents became concerned about his head shape, his mum recalls: “Well, to be frank, we just thought he looked a bit weird!! We chatted to family and friends and sort of concluded well that’s just him, but it kept on getting worse, so we tried to see our GP. Our GP (over the phone), said it would get better and not to worry about it.” However, it did not get better even with re-positioning and tummy time, so she started to research online for treatments and found LOC. There were a number of clinics providing treatment for Positional Plagiocephaly but she chose LOC even though it was actually a greater distance to travel: “We liked the fact that LOC was treating a lot of medical conditions, it looked like they knew what they were doing. The reviews were good as well.”

The baby boy was assessed on 27 January by Saeed Hamed, director and lead plagiocephaly clinician at LOC. He presented with severe Brachycephaly and severe right-sided Plagiocephaly. Measurements were taken of his head shape, his cranial vault asymmetry was 18mm; this measurement compares the right and left diagonals at 30 degrees from the centre line of the head (front to back), subtracting one from the other gives the asymmetry value. Less than 6mm asymmetry is regarded as being within the normal range of head shape, anything over 12mm is deemed to be severe. The second measurement taken was the Cephalic Ratio which is the cranial width divided by the cranial length, his was 96%, the top end of the normal range is 89%.


LOC’s cranial remoulding treatment

BY Jon W

28 November 2022

Not surprisingly given the measurements, his parents did not hesitate about agreeing to treatment and his bespoke LOCband Lite was fitted two weeks after the initial consultation. The LOCband Lite is the successor to the original LOCband, it is a 3D printed helmet which is about 40% lighter than its predecessor due to the walls of the helmet being thinner. It also has a ventilated design, a boon in hot weather.

The mum often had to bring forward review appointments as her baby was making such good progress in his treatment. He had started treatment at what is regarded as the optimum age for cranial remoulding therapy – 4-5 months. Starting at this age also tends to mean that treatment only takes 5-6 months, and this proved to be the case with him.

At discharge his cranial vault asymmetry had reduced from 18mm to 4mm and his cephalic ratio to 88%. His mum says: “We are delighted with the outcome of the treatment. The results were excellent! We received fantastic support throughout our time with LOC. We are so grateful to Saeed and Jo (Drake) for their dedication to making his treatment a success. They spent so much time making sure every detail was perfect. Each appointment was maximised to ensure the best possible comfort and effectiveness of the helmet.”

If you are concerned about the shape of your baby’s head, please contact us. Even severe cases of Brachycephaly and Plagiocephaly can be treated with cranial remoulding therapy

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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.