A Critical Evaluation of Long-Term Aesthetic Outcomes of Fronto-Orbital Advancement and Cranial Vault Remodeling in Nonsyndromic Unicoronal Craniosynostosis

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This study reports long-term aesthetic outcomes with fronto-orbital advancement and cranial vault remodeling in treating unicoronal synostosis over a 35-year period.


Retrospective review was performed on patients with isolated unicoronal synostosis from 1977 to 2012. Demographic, preoperative phenotypic, and long-term aesthetic outcomes data were analyzed with chi-squared and Fisher’s exact test for categorical data and Wilcoxon rank-sum and Kruskal-Wallis rank for continuous data.


A total of 238 patients were treated; 207 met inclusion criteria. None underwent secondary intervention for intracranial pressure. At definitive intervention, there 96 (55 percent) Whitaker class I patients, 11 (6 percent) class II, 62 (35 percent) class III, and six (3 percent) class IV. Nasal root deviation and occipital bossing each conferred an increased risk of Whitaker class III/IV [OR, 4.4 (1.4 to 13.9), p = 0.011; OR, 2.6 (1.0 to 6.8), p = 0.049]. Patients who underwent bilateral cranial vault remodeling with extended unilateral bandeau were less likely Whitaker class III/IV at latest follow-up compared with those undergoing strictly unilateral procedures [OR, 0.2 (0.1 to 0.7), p = 0.011]. Overcorrection resulted in decreased risk of temporal hollowing [OR, 0.3 (0.1 to 1.0), p = 0.05]. Patients with 5 years or more of follow-up were more likely to develop supraorbital retrusion [OR, 7.2 (2.2 to 23.4), p = 0.001] and temporal hollowing [OR, 3.7 (1.5 to 9.6), p = 0.006] and have Whitaker class III/IV outcomes [OR, 4.9 (1.8 to 12.8), p = 0.001].


Traditional fronto-orbital advancement and cranial vault remodeling appears to mitigate risk of intracranial pressure but may lead to aesthetic shortcomings as patients mature, namely fronto-orbital retrusion and temporal hollowing.


Therapeutic, IV.

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