Experience with resorbable sonic pins for the attachment of distraction devices in posterior cranial vault distraction operations

Childs Nerv Syst. 2019 May;35(5):851-856. doi: 10.1007/s00381-019-04097-0. Epub 2019 Mar 8.


Background: Distraction techniques are effective methods for the treatment of craniosynostoses when a significant gain of an intracranial volume is required. However, this technique raises some challenges at different stages of the treatment. While installing the distractors in patients with thin calvarial bone, there is a risk of dural damage from the titanium screws. The need for wide exposure of the devices and the screws during removal causes soft tissue damage and bleeding.

Objective: This study aimed to evaluate sonic pin use in the distraction procedures.

Methods: Resorbable sonic pins were used in 11 consecutive posterior cranial vault distraction procedures to attach distraction devices to the calvarial bone.

Results: This method allowed for a less traumatic and faster removal of the devices without the risk of leaving foreign bodies in the wound. In three out of 11 cases on follow-up, displacement of proximal distractor footplate and partial relapse of distraction were detected. Though there was a smaller volume increase in these patients, all of them benefited clinically from the PCVD and did not require reoperations.

Conclusions: This method allows a strong and stable attachment of the distractor devices to the cranial vault bones with a reduced risk of dural tears due to the screws. It also allows for easier and less traumatic device removal.

Keywords: Absorbable implants; Bone pins; Craniosynostoses; Fixation devices, internal.

MeSH terms

  • Absorbable Implants*
  • Bone Nails*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Craniosynostoses / diagnostic imaging*
  • Craniosynostoses / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Infant
  • Internal Fixators
  • Male
  • Osteogenesis, Distraction / instrumentation
  • Osteogenesis, Distraction / methods*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods