Endocortical Plating of the Bandeau During Fronto-Orbital Advancement Provides Safe and Effective Osseous Stabilization

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Abstract

Background

Ectocortical resorbable plate fixation has become a standard method of fixation during fronto-orbital advancement (FOA) in young children. Plate hydrolysis occurs slowly and can cause visible prominences, sterile abscesses, and osseous depressions that can persist after complete resorption. Although endocortical placement avoids contour issues, the safety and effectiveness of this technique are undocumented.

Methods

A review of our prospectively collected craniofacial database was performed. All patients undergoing FOA by a single craniofacial team at a single institution from 1997 to 2011 were examined. Inclusion criteria were as follows: (1) unicoronal, bicoronal, or metopic synostosis; (2) resorbable endocortical fixation of the bandeau; and (3) follow-up for 1 year or longer. Evaluation included patient demographic data, postoperative clinical course, and computed tomography imaging when available.

Results

Seventy-three patients met the inclusion criteria. Fusion involved the unicoronal (n = 26), bicoronal (n = 19), and metopic (n = 28) sutures. Mean age at operation was 8.3 months (range, 2.7–35.5 mo), and follow-up was 4.5 years (range, 1.0–9.9 y). No endocortical or ectocortical sterile abscesses were documented in our series. Postoperative complications included hematoma (n = 2), infection (n = 2), wound breakdown (n = 3), cerebral contusion (n = 2), and cerebrospinal fluid leak (n = 1); none of these issues were related to endocortical absorbable fixation. Fifty-eight patients (80%) were categorized as Whitaker classification I/II; and 15 patients (20%), Whitaker classification III/IV. Postoperative computed tomography (mean follow-up, 4.6 y) was obtained in 34 patients (47%). All plates were completely resorbed, and there were no bone or soft tissue irregularities in the region where the plates were placed.

Conclusions

Endocortical resorbable fixation is a safe and effective method of osseous stabilization during FOA for craniosynostosis in young children.

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