Background: Cranial vault reconstruction (CVR) is the gold standard in the operative treatment of craniosynostosis. Full thickness osseous defects (FTOD) of the calvaria have been observed in 5% to 15% patients after CVR, with higher rates cited in the fronto-orbital advancement (FOA) subset. Particulate bone graft (PBG) harvested manually has been shown to decrease FTOD after FOA from 24% to 5.5%. The authors used a modified technique using a powered craniotome, with the hypothesis that the technique would also improve outcomes.
Methods: A retrospective review was performed of patients who underwent CVR for craniosynostosis between 2004 and 2014. Patient demographics, diagnosis, age, operative details, and postoperative care were reviewed in detail. Categorical, nonparametric variables were compared by Fisher exact tests.
Results: A total of 135 patients met inclusion criteria. The most common diagnoses were metopic (n = 41), sagittal (n = 33), and unilateral coronal craniosynostosis (n = 31); 65% (n = 88) underwent FOA, 29% (n = 39) underwent single-stage total vault reconstruction, and 6% (n = 8) had a posterior vault reconstruction. CVR was performed without PBG in 95 patients and with PBG in 40 patients. Without PBG, FTOD were discovered on clinical examination in 18% of patients (n=17): 11 presented with subcentimeter defects, while 6 had larger defects requiring revision cranioplasty (6% operative revision rate). Among those receiving PBG, 1 patient presented a subcentimeter FTOD (2.5% FTOD incidence and 0% operative revision rate).
Conclusion: Particulate bone graft harvested with a powered device decreases the rate of FTOD and reoperation rate after CVR for craniosynostosis.