Long term results of mandibular distraction

J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent. 2006 Mar;24(1):30-9. doi: 10.4103/0970-4388.22835.


Mandibular distraction osteogenesis has become a popular surgical modality due to its many advantages over conventional orthognathic surgical procedures. However, in spite of the technique having been used for over 15 years, no concrete long term results are available regarding the stability of results. We discuss the various studies which have reported either in favour or against the stablility of results after distraction. We report a series of 6 cases (3 unilateral and 3 bilateral distraction) where distraction was carried out before puberty and followed them up to seven years after removal of distractors. This case series shows that results achieved by distraction osteogenesis are unstable or best unpredictable with respect to producing a permanent size increase in the mandible. The role of the distraction osteogenesis in overcoming the pterygomassetric sling is questionable. We suggest a multicenter study with adequate patient numbers treated with a similar protocol and documented after growth cessation to have meaningful conclusions on the debate of distraction osteogenesis versus orthognathic surgery.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cephalometry
  • Child
  • Chin / pathology
  • Facial Asymmetry / surgery
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mandible / growth & development
  • Mandible / pathology
  • Mandible / surgery*
  • Maxilla / growth & development
  • Maxilla / pathology
  • Orthognathic Surgical Procedures
  • Osteogenesis, Distraction*
  • Puberty
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vertical Dimension