Versatility of Distraction Osteogenesis for the Craniofacial Skeleton

J Craniofac Surg. 2016 May;27(3):565-70. doi: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000002453.


Malformations of the craniofacial skeleton are common. Restoration of anatomic shape, size, and position has been traditionally accomplished using autologous bone grafting to fill gaps created by surgery and segmental movement. The authors present their practice using distraction in many different ages and settings over 20 years. A retrospective review was performed of all craniofacial patients treated using distraction osteogenesis for mandible, midface, and calvarium. The authors identified 205 patient. Mandible: 112 patients were treated at an average age of 3.4 years. 18.8% of patients required repeat distraction. There was no difference in the neonatal versus older group (P = 0.71). There were significantly higher reoperation rates in syndromic children (P < 0.01). Midface: 58 patients underwent Lefort III distraction at an average age of 13.6 years. One (1.7%) required repeat distraction (Miller syndrome). Five (8.6%) patients underwent subsequent Lefort I advancement for occlusal changes. Calvarium: 33 patients were treated at an average age of 4.7 years. No repeat distractions were performed. One patient required an additional advancement procedure. Distraction demonstrates successful long-term correction of defects in the craniofacial skeleton with the versatility and control needed to treat the wide spectrum of deformity.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Craniofacial Abnormalities / diagnosis
  • Craniofacial Abnormalities / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Mandible / surgery*
  • Osteogenesis, Distraction / methods*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Skull / surgery*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult