Resorbable Plates Prevent Regression in Pediatric Mandibular Distraction Osteogenesis

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Mandibular distraction osteogenesis is an important technique to correct the pediatric hypoplastic mandible. Regression of the mandible after distraction continues to be a challenge, with some studies reporting up to 22% to 56% decrease toward predistraction length in the first year. We hypothesize that a resorbable plate placed after removal of the distractor will provide additional stability to newly formed bone, allowing further time for consolidation and minimizing regression.


This is a retrospective review of neonatal and pediatric patients between 2010 and 2015 who had mandibular distraction osteogenesis performed by the senior author (D.J.). Five patients, including 1 control and 4 intervention subjects, who had preoperative, postdistraction, and follow-up imaging were evaluated. Mandibular distraction was performed via internal devices (KLS Martin, Jacksonville, Fla) and followed by a consolidation period of 6 to 8 weeks. At the second operation when the distractors were removed, the intervention group had a SonicWeld Resorbx (KLS Martin) resorbable plate placed across the bone regenerate. A digital imaging and communications in medicine viewer was used to create a 3-dimensional reconstruction of each of the computed tomography scans and measurements of the mandible were made in the lateral cephalometric view. We then determined distraction distance, regression distance and percent regression.


The average mandible distraction distance was 8.2 mm for the control group, and 9.9 mm for the intervention group (range, 6.7–12 mm). The average distance that the mandible regressed after distraction (regression distance) was 2.7 mm for the control group, and 0.5 mm for the intervention group (range, 0.2–0.9 mm). The average percent regression was 32.9% for the control group, and 5.1% for the intervention group (range 1.8 to 7.5%).


The results of this study suggest that resorbable plate placement after removal of distractors helps prevent regression in pediatric mandibular distraction osteogenesis. The improvement was readily apparent both radiographically and clinically.

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