Using Prosthetic Headgear to Reshape Infants' Heads - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/9/06

Using Prosthetic Headgear to Reshape Infants' Heads

Jack and Nicole Skadal are having their six month old triplets fitted with special prosthetic helmets.  "They said 23 hours a day, and we take em off only to clean em once a day - and they expect it to be about three to four months," says Jack. 

Weighing only five to six ounces, the see through headgear is designed to reshape their skulls - flattened from laying in one spot too much. "It's because they were seven weeks premature that they didn't have the extra seven weeks in the womb surrounded by amniotic fluid. So they spent that other seven weeks in the hospital on their back - flat on their heads," says Nicole.  

For the first time, this new 3D scanner will be used to follow the triplets and others, as part of a collaborative study between fit-well prosthetics and Dr. Louis Morales at primary children's hospital. "We're going to scan them every time they come in - so we can monitor their head growth and where exactly it's growing," says Sean Christiansen, an orthotic fitter for Fit-Well Prosthetics. 

While the Skadal triplets here are in a unique situation, flat headedness is usually preventable within an infant's first month of life.  3D scans will not only follow these kids and how well they do with the helmets, but also patients with more serious skull deformities- before and after their surgeries. Here at Fit-Well, the scans will also be used to make more precision fits for artificial hands, legs and arms.

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