Counterclockwise Craniofacial Distraction Osteogenesis for Tracheostomy-Dependent Children with Treacher Collins Syndrome

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The craniofacial rotation deformity in Treacher Collins syndrome results in airway compression that is not addressed by isolated mandibular distraction osteogenesis. Our purpose is to present a surgical technique—counterclockwise craniofacial distraction osteogenesis—that improves airway morphology and occlusal rotation in tracheostomy-dependent patients with this condition.


All patients underwent subcranial Le Fort II osteotomies with simultaneous mandibular osteotomies, followed by coordinated maxillomandibular distraction with counterclockwise rotation. We reviewed pretreatment, posttreatment, and end-treatment cephalograms. Airway changes were assessed using polysomnography, sleep endoscopy, and direct laryngoscopy. Bivariate statistics were computed to compare pretreatment and posttreatment measures.


Five subjects (age range, 4.5 to 12.1 years) underwent this new procedure; three had previously undergone mandibular distraction. The average palatal plane rotation was 17 degrees, the effective mandible length increase was 18 mm, and the facial plane relative to skull base rotation was 14 degrees. There was a symmetric 30 percent relapse of rotation with maintained occlusion in the first 9 months of follow-up that then stabilized. Four patients were successfully decannulated following counterclockwise craniofacial distraction osteogenesis following polysomnography. Sleep endoscopy available on two patients demonstrated resolution of the upper airway obstruction.


Counterclockwise craniofacial distraction osteogenesis provided greater palatal rotation than previous techniques. The resulting improvement in airway anatomy allowed for decannulation in four of five tracheotomized patients. Stability of the counterclockwise rotation is comparable to that of related orthognathic operations, despite substantially greater magnitude.


Therapeutic, IV.

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