Hudson Churchill was born one month premature. Because of his particularly tender skull, he began to develop a large flat spot on the back of his head called plagiocephaly. His mom, Adele, tried to round out the flatness with a special donut pillow for his car seat and lots of tummy time but neither helped. When he was six months old, she brought him to the Prosthetics and Orthotics (P&O) Department at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS).
Hamilton Health Sciences Hospital April 19, 2016
Hudson was diagnosed with moderate plagiocephaly. The condition is cosmetic and doesn’t affect brain development but his mom decided a custom cranial remoulding helmet was the right decision, “if he had crooked teeth, we would get him braces. So why wouldn’t we get him a helmet?”
Hudson was the first patient to use new 3D scanning technology at HHS’s P&O Department for a helmet scan. The scanner created a digital image of Hudson’s head. That image was then used by a special machine to carve an exact model of the head out of polyurethane foam.
Orthotist, Becki Westover, then sculpted the model, adding additional material to the flat side so it was symmetrical. Helmets don’t push against the head. Instead they leave a gap for the flat spot to grow into, so building an ideal model is very important. When Westover finished with the model, orthotic technician, Matthew Durrer, used it to mould a foam liner and custom coloured helmet.
Just one week after his scan, Hudson came back for his helmet fitting. Westover measured the foam liner against his head and made small adjustments until it was a perfect fit. Then she trimmed the outer shell to match and ta-da, Hudson has a helmet!
Because of the accuracy of the 3D scanning equipment, Westover will be able to measure small changes in Hudson’s head shape and track his progress. Timing varies case by case but there’s a good chance that Hudson’s remoulding will be complete by his first birthday. Until then, he’s happy rocking a stylish helmet.