Long-Term Results of Mandibular Distraction Osteogenesis with a Resorbable Device in Infants with Robin Sequence: Effects on Developing Molars and Mandibular Growth

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Mandibular distraction osteogenesis with a unidirectional resorbable device is an effective treatment option for severe upper airway obstruction in infants with Robin sequence. Long-term effects, especially with regard to tooth development and mandibular outgrowth, are not known.


Robin sequence infants with a follow-up of greater than or equal to 5 years were included. Baseline characteristics were extracted from medical records. Panoramic and lateral cephalometric radiographs were analyzed and patients were recalled for physical examination.


Ten infants underwent mandibular distraction osteogenesis at a mean age of 3.7 months (median, 19 months; range, 11 days to 27 months). Mean length of follow-up was 6.8 years (range, 5.0 to 7.9 years). Ten Robin sequence infants without mandibular distraction osteogenesis (mean length of follow-up, 7.4 years; range, 6.7 to 8.9 years) were the controls. Shape anomalies, positional changes, and root malformations of molars were seen significantly more often than in the control group (p = 0.007, p = 0.009, and p = 0.043, respectively). Mandibular length was shorter (p = 0.030), but mandibular ramus height was comparable (p = 0.838) with that of the non–mandibular distraction osteogenesis group. Compared with healthy controls, all Robin sequence infants had a significantly shorter mandible.


Mandibular distraction osteogenesis with a resorbable system reveals overall good short- and long-term results, but the effects on developing molars and mandibular outgrowth likely necessitate secondary procedures. This factor should be considered when deciding on treatment options and counseling of parents.


Therapeutic, III.

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