Change in Mandibular Position in Patients With Syndromic Craniosynostosis After Midfacial Advancement With Distraction Osteogenesis

Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 2015 Sep;52(5):506-11. doi: 10.1597/14-157. Epub 2014 Sep 11.


Objective: Characterize mandibular morphology in patients with syndromic craniosynostosis and document changes in mandibular position following midfacial advancement using distraction osteogenesis (DO).

Design: Retrospective chart review and analysis of cephalometric radiographs.

Setting: Tertiary care center.

Patients: Patients with syndromic craniosynostosis who had midfacial advancement with DO at Boston Children's Hospital between 2000 and 2012. Mandibular morphology was characterized in 26 patients (15 boys and 11 girls) with a mean age of 11 years, 9 months. Pre- and postoperative analyses were performed for 17 (10 boys and 7 girls) of the 26 patients with a mean age of 11 years, 9 months.

Main outcome measures: Mandibular morphology and mandibular position. Data were compared to standard data from the Michigan Growth Study.

Results: Comparison of preoperative mandibular measurements to standard data showed that patients with syndromic craniosynostosis have a shorter mandibular body and length and an obtuse gonial angle. Comparison of pre- and postoperative cephalograms showed that, following midfacial advancement with DO, the maxilla moved forward and the mandible moved backward and downward.

Conclusions: Patients with syndromic craniosynostosis have a smaller mandible length and obtuse gonial angle. Correction of midfacial hypoplasia with DO results in inferior and posterior mandibular movement. Clinicians can use this information to counsel patients regarding anticipated changes in facial profile and the need for adjunct procedures.

Keywords: Le Fort osteotomy; craniosynostosis; distraction osteogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cephalometry
  • Child
  • Craniosynostoses / diagnostic imaging
  • Craniosynostoses / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mandible / abnormalities*
  • Mandible / diagnostic imaging
  • Mandible / surgery*
  • Maxillofacial Development
  • Osteogenesis, Distraction / methods*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Syndrome
  • Treatment Outcome