Lateral orbital expansion and gradual fronto-orbital advancement: an option to treat severe syndromic craniosynostosis

J Craniofac Surg. 2008 Nov;19(6):1622-7. doi: 10.1097/SCS.0b013e31818b494e.


In some patients with severe syndromic craniosynostosis, bony orbits are so small and shallow that the eyeballs dislocate. Dry cornitis and conjunctivitis can be seen often. When conventional fronto-orbital advancement is attempted in these cases, side walls of the orbit cannot go forward, because the width of bony orbit is smaller than the eyeball. To expand bony orbits and cranial volume, supralateral rim of the orbit was expanded laterally at the time of operation and gradually advanced foward postoperatively. With a coronal skin incision approach, frontal bone was taken off. Supralateral orbital rim bone was detached and cut at the centers of the orbits. Lateral expansion, 5 to 10 mm, was made and fixed with polylactate plates. A pair of distraction devices was fixed between the orbital rim and the temporal bone. Frontal bone was let floating on the dura mater and tied loosely with the orbital rim. Advancement of 1 to 1.5 mm/d was carried out, and the devices were taken off after 1-month consolidation period. Five patients with Pfeiffer syndrome, 1 with Crouzon, and 1 with Beare-Stevenson cutis gyrata syndrome were treated with this method. Procedure, outcomes, and complications are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Absorbable Implants
  • Acrocephalosyndactylia / surgery
  • Bone Plates
  • Craniofacial Dysostosis / surgery
  • Craniosynostoses / surgery*
  • Craniotomy / instrumentation
  • Craniotomy / methods
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Frontal Bone / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Orbit / surgery*
  • Osteogenesis / physiology
  • Osteogenesis, Distraction / instrumentation
  • Osteogenesis, Distraction / methods
  • Osteotomy / instrumentation
  • Osteotomy / methods
  • Skull Base / surgery
  • Surgical Mesh
  • Suture Techniques
  • Syndrome
  • Temporal Bone / surgery
  • Titanium
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Titanium