Suture separation can be caused by variety of factors. A common, nonthreatening cause is childbirth. The plates of a newborn’s skull may overlap and form a ridge. In such cases, the ridge typically goes away in a few days, allowing the skull to take on a normal shape. Other causes of suture separation are more serious and deserve immediate attention. Some main causes of suture separation are described below.
Some vitamin and mineral deficiencies can cause a separation of sutures. Your infant can become malnourished if they do not receive the proper nutrients for keeping the connective tissues and bone plates healthy. Dehydration
(a lack of fluid) can also cause sunken fontanels that resemble suture separation.
Trauma, such as non-accidental child abuse, can cause separation of the sutures as well as a bulging soft spot. A blow to the head can cause internal bleeding in the brain or a collection of blood on the brain’s surface, known as a subdural hematoma
. Head trauma in an infant is an emergency and requires immediate medical assistance.
Diseases and conditions
Diseases and conditions that cause increased pressure in the skull may raise an infant’s risk of suture separation. Some conditions and diseases linked to increased intracranial pressure include:
- brain tumors
- infections present at birth
- Down syndrome
- Dandy-Walker malformation