Management of Duane retraction syndrome: A simplified approach

Indian J Ophthalmol. 2019 Jan;67(1):16-22. doi: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_967_18.


Duane retraction (or co-contraction) syndrome is a congenital restrictive strabismus which can occur either as an isolated entity or in conjunction with other congenital anomalies and is now listed as a congenital cranial dysinnervation disorder. It is characterized by co-contraction of horizontal recti on attempted adduction causing globe retraction along with variable amounts of upshoots or downshoots. It may have limited abduction or adduction or both and present as esotropic, exotropic, or orthotropic Duane. The diagnosis of this disease is usually clinical. However, recent research has provided a greater insight into the genetic basis of this disease paving a way for a greater role of genetics in the diagnosis and management. This disease can have a varied presentation and hence the treatment plan should be tailor-made for every patient. The indications for surgery are abnormal head posture, deviations in the primary position, retraction and narrowing of palpebral aperture and up- or downshoots during adduction, and sometimes also to improve abduction. The arrival of newer surgical techniques of periosteal fixation (PF) of lateral rectus (LR), partial vertical rectus transposition, or superior or inferior rectus transposition in addition to LR recession with Y-split has vastly improved the management outcomes, providing not only primary position orthophoria but also increased binocular visual fields as well.

Keywords: Duane retraction syndrome; restrictive strabismus; strabismus surgery.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Disease Management*
  • Duane Retraction Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Duane Retraction Syndrome / surgery*
  • Eye Movements*
  • Humans
  • Oculomotor Muscles / physiology
  • Oculomotor Muscles / surgery*
  • Ophthalmologic Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Vision, Binocular / physiology*
  • Visual Fields / physiology*