CraniotabesCongenital cranial osteoporosis
Craniotabes is a softening of the skull bones.
Craniotabes can be a normal finding in infants, especially premature infants. Studies suggest it occurs in up to one third of all newborn infants.
- Soft areas of the skull, especially along the suture line
- Soft areas pop in and out
- Bones may feel soft, flexible, and thin along the suture lines
Exams and Tests
Typically craniotabes is demonstrated by pressing the bone along the area where the bones of the skull come together. The bone often pops in and out, similar to pressing on a Ping-Pong ball.
No testing is done unless osteogenesis imperfecta or rickets is suspected.
Craniotabes that are not associated with other conditions are not treated.
Complete healing is expected.
There are usually no complications.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
This finding is usually discovered when the baby is examined during a well-baby check. Call your health care provider if you notice that your child has signs of craniotabes (to rule out other problems).
Most of the time, craniotabes is not preventable (except when associated withricketsandosteogenesis imperfecta).
Greenbaum, L. Rickets and Hypervitaminosis D. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds.Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics.19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 48.
Review Date: 2/21/2013
Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.