Doctor insights on:
Enlarged Anterior Fontanel
In an infant, the space where two skull-bone sutures join forms a membrane-covered "soft spot" called a fontanel (fontanelle). The fontanels allow for growth of the skull during an infant's first year. The fontanels should feel firm and very slightly curved inward to the touch. A tense or bulging fontanel occurs when fluid builds up in the skull cavity or when pressure increases in the brain (increased intracranial pressure). When the infant is crying, lying down, or vomiting, the fontanels may look like they are slightly bulging, but they should return to normal when the infant is in ...Read more
6 month old has extra cerebralspinal fluid. Im told will resolve on its own. Is this true? What if left untreated?He has fluctuating anterior fontanel
Extra ???: The spinal fluid is produced continuously through life at about a tablespoonful per hour by structures in the brain. It circulates through it's normal pathway & is absorbed into the circulation from the brain surface. Blockage of flow must be opened or structures distort but the body adjusts to fluctuations in fluid amount.True excess production will produce rapid head growth & need surgery. ...Read more
My 6 1/2 mo old ped. Felt his anterior fontanel but says that it might be closing early than usual. Should i be worried? Or is this normal @ his age?
Follow closely..: It is a bit early for the skull to fuse, but unless he has had a head MRI or ct to assess exactly how open or closed they are, i would not panic. If his head shape is normal and symmetric, if head size is increasing along appropriate percentiles, development is normal, then i would put my mind at ease. However, these parameters, including head size and shape, need to be monitored monthly for now. ...Read more
I was changing my baby's clothes and accidentally pushed on the anterior fontanel. She is behaving normally. Should I have her checked out?
No need: It actually has pretty tough coverings.Get a more detailed answer ›
Is the size of fingertip dent on my 4month old grandson's anterior fontanel normal. Told my son to address it with ped. He forgot! it was always smal?
Normal: I'm sure it is a normal anterior fontanelle - "soft spot". If he has been going to the pediatrician regularly, we all have this fixation about rubbing babies soft spots. For us it's almost like another vital sign like heart rate or blood pressure. If there was something abnormal with it when he was at the doctors office, i'm sure the pediatrician would have mentioned something about it to your son. ...Read more
I'm 51 years old. I felt a " sunken" area on top of my skull. I think its the anterior fontanel. is this bad? its ok to touch but continuously it hurt
Patience: Most kids will have what feels to be closure of the anterior fontanel by 15-18 mo but some may persist. The separation between the bones will persist to some degree until about 9 when kids reach their adult head size. In examining thousands of kids over 3 decades, i never found one that didn't eventually close. ...Read more
i have cyst on my anterior fontanel since birth and am almost 26 now. Any prescription to diminish it aside from surgical excision, please?
Soft spots: The fontanels can be identified by an exam of the baby's head. They are soft spots that you can feel between the different bones of the skull which have not yet fused. The anterior fontanel is easiest to find be cause it is typically larger. Fontanels do not a have a true function but are fibrous sheets of tissue that connect the plates of the immature skull while protecting the brain below. ...Read more
Enough...: The anterior fontanelle usually closes between 7 and 21 months. Early closure (before 6 months) causes concern that perhaps other areas of the skull might be fusing too early and that leads to abnormal head growth (plagiocephaly). It it can easily evaluated with a head x-ray. I have seen many cases and even with the fontanelle closed early the others are open. Surgery can fix if a problem is there. ...Read more
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