Combined resection and recession of a single rectus muscle for the treatment of incomitant strabismus

J AAPOS. 1999 Oct;3(5):263-8. doi: 10.1016/s1091-8531(99)70020-0.


Background: The treatment of incomitant strabismus is challenging. Traditional approaches include the use of asymmetric bilateral surgery and the fadenoperation (posterior fixation suture). We report our experience with a different approach: combined resection and recession of a single rectus muscle.

Methods: The charts of 12 patients who underwent resection of a single rectus muscle with an equal or greater amount of recession of the same muscle were identified. In 5 patients, the procedure was performed using the adjustable suture technique, and the adjustment was performed later the same day (Group 1). In the remaining 7 patients, permanent sutures were placed at the time of surgery (Group 2). The procedure was performed for horizontal and vertical gaze incomitance, dissociated horizontal deviation, and distance-near disparity.

Results: Four of the 5 patients in Group 1 showed stable, long-term correction of their incomitance, both in primary gaze and in gaze in the direction of the muscle operated on. The results for patients in Group 2 showed stable, long-term correction of incomitance in 3 patients; however, these patients also had slight overcorrections in the direction of gaze opposite to the muscle operated on. An additional patient in Group 2 had a shift of her distance-near disparity, shifting from relatively exotropic to relatively esotropic disparity postoperatively. All patients in Group 2 showed at least some decrease in the amount of measured incomitance. We did not encounter complications such as muscle slippage or loss, scleral perforation, or late overcorrection in the field of gaze of the operated muscle.

Conclusions: The technique of combined resection and recession of a single rectus muscle shows promise in the treatment of incomitant strabismus. It offers the advantages of posterior fixation combined with the greater technical ease of a standard hangback recession. The muscle may also be placed on an adjustable suture, allowing for postoperative adjustment in selected patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Exotropia / physiopathology
  • Exotropia / surgery*
  • Eye Movements
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Oculomotor Muscles / physiopathology
  • Oculomotor Muscles / surgery*
  • Ophthalmologic Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Suture Techniques
  • Treatment Outcome