LeFort III internal distraction in syndromic craniosynostosis

J Craniofac Surg. 2002 Mar;13(2):262-72. doi: 10.1097/00001665-200203000-00014.


Distraction osteogenesis of the mid-face alleviates the requirements of substantial autogenous bone grafts and donor site morbidity and alleviates the restriction of the soft-tissue envelope in gaining advancement of the mid-face. A prospective study, over a 14-month period, was initiated to evaluate the results of seven consecutive patients undergoing mid-facial advancement who were treated with Le Fort III internal distraction using the MID device. All patients had syndromic craniosynostoses and six patients had previously undergone fronto-orbital advancement. Four patients had symptoms of airway obstruction and one patient was tracheostomy dependent. Six of the patients completed the distraction as planned. Lateral cephalograms were analyzed and the mean linear distraction was 18 mm with a range of 8 mm to 23 mm. Complications included infection (one patient), mechanical failure (one patient), intraoperative fragment dysjunction (three patients), velopharyngeal insufficiency (one patient), conjunctivitis (two patients), trismus (six patients), and bony irregularities. It was concluded that in our Unit's future protocol for managing infant syndromic synostoses, synostectomies and cranial vault remodeling will be undertaken in infants as before, but that in early childhood, patients with severe mid-facial hypoplasia and/or respiratory compromise will be offered distraction osteogenesis as a substitute for the traditional Le Fort III advancement and bone grafting.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Craniosynostoses / surgery*
  • Equipment Failure
  • Facial Bones / abnormalities
  • Facial Bones / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal Fixators
  • Male
  • Osteogenesis, Distraction / adverse effects
  • Osteogenesis, Distraction / instrumentation*
  • Osteogenesis, Distraction / methods*
  • Osteotomy, Le Fort / methods*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrognathia / surgery
  • Syndrome
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Trismus / etiology