Baby Born Without Soft Spot Has Reconstructive Surgery

A Texas baby born without a soft spot on her head is recovering from surgery to reconstruct her skull, reported

Five-month-old Olivia Grace Casteel was born Feb. 1 at Mercy Memorial Hospital in Ardmore, Texas with a rare condition in which the anterior fontanel, commonly referred to as the soft spot, is fused. The condition affects about 1 in 4,000 babies born in the U.S.

Dr. Manny Alvarez, managing editor of health for, said the condition is dangerous because it doesn't allow the brain to grow.

"When you have fusions of the bone, the brain doesn't have space to grow, which can lead to neurological and cognitive issues," he said.

Olivia's father, Jamy Casteel told that the family suspected something was wrong with little girl shortly after her birth when her grandmother discovered a ridge on the top of her head.

"We were hoping for the best but preparing for the worst, and the worst kind of did happen," he said.

She underwent skull reconstruction at Children's Hospital in Dallas.

"Basically what they did is cut a strip out of her skull," Casteel said. "They also cut strips on the side to allow (the brain) to grow outwards."

Doctors also had to fully reconstruct the forehead and the back of the head to the neck, according to the report.

Alvarez said surgery is usually successful provided there is no genetic disease associated with the problem. Still, the condition will have to be monitored.

"It will be a challenging road ahead," Alvarez added.

Click here for more on this story from