Purpose: To demonstrate our experience using internal devices for unidirectional distraction osteogenesis in treating different mandibular hypoplasias (with or without maxillary deformities). An algorithmic table for diagnosis, and treatment planning is presented.
Patients and methods: Twenty internal distraction devices were used in 16 patients with mandibular hypoplasia. Deficiency in length of the mandible was calculated on three-dimensional computed tomography scans. The device was activated by a transcutaneous pin on the fifth postoperative day. Distraction was achieved at rates of 0.5 mm/12 h. After a variable period of consolidation the devices were removed. Mean follow-up was 18 months.
Results: Successful distraction osteogenesis was achieved in all patients. No premature consolidation or pseudoarthrosis was observed. Improvement of facial aesthetics was produced in all cases. Final occlusion was excellent in those cases where no simultaneous maxillary deformity was present. Orthodontic treatment was applied in all cases. Results remained stable one year postoperatively.
Conclusions: The occlusal results obtained in this series show that we can plan distraction as a definitive treatment in cases with isolated mandibular hypoplasia. When an additional maxillary deformity is present, mandibular distraction must be performed first if indicated, but a maxillary procedure will be necessary later.
Copyright 2001 European Association for Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery.