Effectiveness of Immediate Fixation after Cranial Distraction Osteogenesis

Published:November 21, 2022DOI:



      Distraction osteogenesis (DO) is the established safe and effective treatment of craniosynostosis (CS) deformities. However, conventional method demonstrates some complications, such as long-term maintenance of the distractor and relapse after distractor removal. There only few studies to overcome these limitations. Therefore, we hypothesized that placing a resorbable plate after removing the distractor will provide additional stability to newly formed bone, shortening the consolidation period and minimizing relapse.


      Twenty-six children diagnosed with CS who underwent DO between 2000 and 2019 were retrospectively analyzed. A resorbable plate was fixed across the regenerated bone when distractors were removed. The consolidation period and complication rate were obtained from medical records, and both two- and three-dimensional analyses were performed to obtain relapse rate and brain volume changes using three-dimensional computed tomography.


      Among 26 patients, the average consolidation period was 90.75±23.75 days in the conventional group (n=11) and 22.77±8.69 days in the intervention group (n=15). In the two-dimensional analysis, the relapse rate was lower in the intervention group. Moreover, in the three-dimensional analysis, the relapse rate of unilateral CS between the affected and unaffected sides was lower in the intervention group. The conventional group had more complications (skin defect and distractor exposure).


      Resorbable plate placement after distractor removal helps shorten the consolidation period and prevent relapse in pediatric patients with cranial DO. It reduces complications and shows stable results in terms of cranial morphology and symmetric brain growth in patients with CS.


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