Spring mediated dynamic craniofacial reshaping. Case report

C Lauritzen, Y Sugawara, O Kocabalkan, R Olsson
Scandinavian Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Hand Surgery 1998, 32 (3): 331-8
A new technique of using implantable springs as an adjunct after corrective surgery for craniofacial malformations is presented. A 6-month-old boy with multiple premature craniosynostoses and extreme turricephaly underwent surgery of limited extensiveness but supplemented with a set of indwelling springs for gradual postoperative skull reshaping. At spring removal three months later the skull was normalised both clinically and on cephalogram. A 5-year-old boy with Apert syndrome, severe midface retrusion, exorbitism, and sleep apnoea underwent a monobloc full face disjunction without repositioning, but was fitted with two springs for postoperative facial advancement. Three months postoperatively cephalometric analysis revealed 14 mm advancement at incisor level and at least 16 mm in the frontal region. There was no more exorbitism or clinically noticeable midface retrusion. Sleep studies revealed that the sleep apnoea was significantly improved, meaning complete cure except when sleeping flat on the back. It was concluded from these first clinical applications of spring assisted craniofacial distraction that springs hold significant promise for the future in many respects.

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