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New STAR Cranial Center of Excellence Offers Cutting-Edge Treatment to Central Florida Infants
Date:7/28/2009

MAITLAND, Fla., July 28 /PRNewswire/ -- The STAR Cranial Center of Excellence, a specialized provider of treatment for infants with plagiocephaly and other head shape abnormalities, opened a third location on June 1, 2009 in Maitland, Florida. The Center currently also has offices in the Baltimore and Dallas areas, and has treated thousands of infants with STARband(R) cranial remolding orthoses, also commonly referred to as a cranial helmets or headbands.

The new Maitland location will offer Central Florida infants access to cutting-edge cranial remolding treatment and clinical expertise, as well as the potential to positively affect families and healthcare providers across the globe.

STAR Cranial Center of Excellence practitioners offer an unparalleled level of expertise in treating infants with deformational plagiocephaly, which is the flattening of one side of the head, as well as related conditions, such as brachycephaly, which is the flattening and widening of the back side of the head.

Plagiocephaly can develop as a result of babies resting for prolonged periods in one position in an infant carrier or crib. It can also be acquired as a result of in-utero positioning, common in cases of twins or multiple births. Following a referral from a pediatrician, neurosurgeon, or other specialist, infants with plagiocephaly or a related condition are evaluated by a practitioner at the STAR Cranial Center of Excellence, scanned with the state-of-the-art eye safe laser STARscanner, and treated when necessary with a STARband cranial remolding orthosis. In cases where an infant's plagiocephaly is considered mild, or if the practitioner believes the infant is young enough, the practitioner may recommend that the patient be rescanned after several weeks of repositioning efforts to see if the infant's head shape improves without STARband treatment.

STARband cranial remolding helmets are worn 23 hours per day for three to six months, channeling head growth by applying constant, gentle contact on protruding areas of the head, while leaving room for growth in flattened areas. The helmet adjusted every two to three weeks to account for growth and changes. Infants adapt well to the STARband.

The STAR Cranial Center of Excellence exclusively uses the STARscanner system, which scans a child's head in less than two seconds. It is faster, cleaner, more accurate, and less stressful for infants than the traditional plaster casting technique. The STARscanner provides detailed measurements and objective head shape data that is helpful for the patient's family, referring physician, and practitioner to review when determining the need for treatment. The STARscanner also documents head shape changes before, during, and after treatment.

Early recognition of head shape abnormalities is critical for optimal treatment results. Treatment for plagiocephaly is most effective if begun at four to six months of age. Some physicians believe that lack of treatment can lead to developmental delays, visual impairment and misaligned ears, eyes, and jaw.

Dr. Keyne Johnson, a pediatric neurosurgeon in Orlando, Florida, frequently sees infants with plagiocephaly, and says it is important that abnormal head shapes are evaluated early.

"The earlier it's treated, the better the results," she said. "We like to intervene as early as possible. When children are not treated, they sometimes have asymmetry of the face or an ear can be pushed out of alignment. We use the STARscanner in these situations to give us very specific numbers to show progress or lack or progress."

While plagiocephaly is best treated while the infant's head is still actively growing between 3 and 12 months, Dr. Johnson said she and other practitioners also make sure the abnormal head shape is not caused by craniosynostosis.

"Detecting these conditions and treating patients early is critical, especially because early detection in craniosynostosis means we are able to do a minimally invasive endoscopic surgery, something that is not possible as these children get older. At that point, you have to do a major reconstruction. I like to get measurements with the STARscanner prior to surgery, and then again after surgery, just to see what kind of difference the surgery itself has made."

"The STARscanner allows us to have numbers and actual data that we can reference," she added. "Whether it's for craniosynostosis or cranial remolding, we can actually give parents to numbers to show them how much difference a helmet will make or how much difference a surgery made. This helps us guide parents in what direction to go, depending on what is needed."

The STAR Cranial Center of Excellence is a patient care division of Orthomerica Products, Inc., the manufacturer of the STARband cranial remolding orthosis, which is also located in Central Florida, just a few miles from the new STAR Cranial Center of Excellence office. The close proximity of the two facilities not only means that custom cranial orthosis orders will be quickly filled for the new center, but also means that the two facilities will have the opportunity to work together to improve processes, share research and development ideas, and continue to advance treatment options for patients with plagiocephaly or other head shape abnormalities worldwide.

"The location of these two facilities means that the new STAR Cranial Center of Excellence can provide patient care information and product feedback directly to the Orthomerica manufacturing and R&D departments, enabling us to continue to be the industry leader by providing the best treatment options possible," said Bill Gustavson, Director of Operations for STAR Cranial Center of Excellence. "This is an excellent opportunity for Orthomerica to further gather data regarding the efficacy of cranial remolding orthotic treatment."

The relationship between the two facilities will also benefit healthcare providers across the globe. The duo will use both Orthomerica's manufacturing facility and the STAR Cranial Center of Excellence clinic setting with physicians and clinicians to demonstrate the cranial remolding treatment process and provide educational and training opportunities for healthcare professionals.

"This is not only an opportunity for us to showcase the complete process of cranial remolding manufacturing and the treatment process, it is also an opportunity for us to share our research and industry knowledge with our healthcare provider partners, so that they can take the information back to their clinics and, ultimately, benefit patients world-wide," said David Kerr, CEO of Orthomerica Products, Inc.

Orthomerica is recognized as the leader in cranial remolding orthoses manufacturing, and currently provides the STARband, the most widely prescribed cranial remolding orthosis, to leading practitioners and Children's Hospitals throughout the world.

About the STAR Cranial Center of Excellence

Located in Maitland, Florida, the STAR Cranial Center of Excellence uses the latest technology to provide the highest quality cranial products and services to infants with deformational plagiocephaly. The Center exclusively uses STARband cranial remolding orthoses (helmets), manufactured by Orthomerica(R) Products, Inc. The STAR Cranial Center of Excellence also uses the most advanced technology available--The STARscanner Laser Data Acquisition System. In addition to this location, there are two other STAR Cranial Centers of Excellence, one located in Addison (Dallas), Texas and one located in Columbia (Baltimore), Maryland. For more information, please call 407.478.7223 or visit www.starcranialcenter.com

About STARband(TM)

The STARband is a custom-fabricated cranial remolding orthosis manufactured my Orthomerica Products, Inc. It can be fabricated from a 3-D head shape data, such as a scan from a STARscanner(TM) System or by taking a plaster impression. The headband is worn 23 hours a day, channeling head growth by applying constant, gentle contact on protruding areas while leaving room for growth in depressed ones. The interior is modified often to allow for growth. Head shape problems are not life threatening and are correctable if treated by 18 months of age. The STARband is the most prescribed cranial remolding orthosis in the world, with over 50,000 babies benefiting from STARband treatment since 2001.

About STARscanner(TM)

Following diagnosis, treatment formerly began by a plaster casting of the head - a 15-30 minute procedure and sometimes a messy and traumatic, process. Orthomerica's STARscanner uses safe, non-contact laser scanning technology to obtain precise measurements in less than two seconds and captures 3-D head shape data, accurately within 0.5 mm. Treatment is most effective when measurements are accurate and submitted promptly, enabling the helmet to be manufactured and fit in a timely period before the head shape changes further. For more information visit www.orthomerica.com


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SOURCE Orthomerica Products, Inc.
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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