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    Craniotabes

    Congenital cranial osteoporosis

    Craniotabes is a softening of the skull bones.

    Causes

    Craniotabes can be a normal finding in infants, especially premature infants. Studies suggest it occurs in up to one third of all newborn infants.

    Craniotabes is a harmless finding in the newborn, unless it is associated with other problems, such as rickets and osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bones).

    Symptoms

    • 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.

    Treatment

    Craniotabes that are not associated with other conditions are not treated.

    Outlook (Prognosis)

    Complete healing is expected.

    Possible Complications

    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).

    Prevention

    Most of the time, craniotabes is not preventable (except when associated withricketsandosteogenesis imperfecta).

    References

    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.

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          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.

          The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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          St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
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