Multidirectional Cranial Distraction Osteogenesis with Simplified Modifications for Treating Sagittal Synostosis

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Multidirectional cranial distraction osteogenesis (MCDO) is a procedure of ours developed earlier for treating craniosynostosis. However, the numerous bone flaps led to prolonged operative time and occasional bone detachment from dura. We have since simplified the osteotomy design. In treating sagittal synostosis, required bone flaps have been reduced to 11 (from ~20).


In a 2-year period (2014–2015), 5 boys with sagittal synostosis underwent MCDO using our simplified and fixed-form osteotomy. Mean age at surgery was 9.4 months (range, 8–11 months). Pre- and postoperative cranial morphology was assessed by cephalic index and by mid-sagittal vector analysis.


Improved cranial shape was confirmed by 3-dimensional CT scans and by mid-sagittal vector index. Mean preoperative cephalic index (68.7) progressively increased to means of 78.5 immediately after distraction device removal, 75.2 at postoperative month 6, and 75.1 at 1 year postoperatively. There were no major complications, although transient cerebrospinal fluid leakage and loosening of anchor pins occurred in 1 patient.


Simplified MCDO has a number of advantages over conventional distraction procedures such as discretionary reshaping/expansion of cranium and predictable osteogenesis and is a valid treatment option for patients with sagittal synostosis.

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