Plagiocephaly Severity Chart

In order to determine if your child has deformational plagiocephaly, an orthotist will measure the baby's head.

Fortunately...we provide a free accurate assessment

At the Cranial Therapy Centers, we use the STARscanner™ that provides the most accurate measurement to determine the severity of your child's plagiocephaly. The system delivers the cranial vault asymmetry in millimeters to see if your child needs cranial therapy.

How Is Severity Determined?

Normal Head Shape

Most newborns will show some type of head deformity after birth. During delivery the baby needs to squeeze through a narrow passageway which can result in a head deformity. Normal head shapes for babies should have a Cranial Vault Asymmetry of 0 to 4 mm (millimeters) and have a Cephalic Ratio of 75 to 90 mm

Mild Plagiocephaly

Very often babies will be born with a slight head deformity. Sometimes you might notice it while other times you may not. When your baby's head gets measured and has a Cephalic Ratio of 91 to 93 mm and a Cranial Vault Asymmetry (CVA) of 5 to 9 mm, we refer to this as mild plagiocephaly. Most insurances will require a CVA of 7 mm or higher to pay for helmet therapy.

Moderate Plagiocephaly

When a flat spot on your child's head is pronounced, chances are that it's a form of moderate plagiocephaly. The head deformity can be unilateral (affecting one side of the head) or bilateral (affecting more than one side of the head). A Cephalic Ratio of 94 to 97 mm and a Cranial Vault Asymmetry (CVA) of 10 to 15 mm will be classified as a moderate form of flat head syndrome. Most insurance companies will pay for therapies.

Severe Plagiocephaly

In a case where the Cranial Vault Asymmetry is greater than 15 mm and the Cephalic Ratio of greater than 97 mm, we refer to this as severe plagiocephaly. Often helmet/physical therapy may suffice while other times a neurosurgeon will need to be consulted. If the head deformity is a result of the sutures in the skull closing too early, this may be a case of a craniosynostosis.

If you think that your child may require treatment, please contact us

How Is Plagiocephaly Severity Determined?

Measuring Head Circumference

The head circumference is measured at the point where the baby's eyebrows rest, from front to back. Our STARscanner™ will provide the most accurate head circumference.

Measuring Head Width

The head width is measured at the right and left plane of the skull. This is a side to side measurement of the side of the child's skull. Our STARscanner™ will provide the most accurate head width.

Measuring Head Length

The head length measures the top of the skull from front to back. Our STARscanner™ will provide the most accurate head length.

Measuring Cephalic Index

Cephalic Index (CI) is the measurement of the head width (HW) divided by the head length (HL) multiplied by one hundred. The equation looks like this CI = HW ÷ HL x 100. Cephalic Index or cephalic ratio will be a definitive measurement for insurance companies.

Measuring Cranial Vault Asymmetry

Cranial Vault Asymmetry CVA measures the two diagonals of the top of the baby's skull. Each of lines are measured as A and B. The CVA equation looks like this: CVA = A - B. On the above chart this is the right access measured in millimeters.

Plagiocephaly Severity Chart