Calcified Tissue International

, Volume 62, Issue 4, pp 370–376

Midface Membranous Bone Lengthening: A One-Year Histological and Morphological Follow-Up of Distraction Osteogenesis


  • A.  Rachmiel
    • Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Rambam Medical Center, Haifa 31096, Israel
  • D.  Laufer
    • Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Rambam Medical Center, Haifa 31096, Israel
  • I. T.  Jackson
    • Craniofacial and Reconstructive Surgery, Providence Hospital, Southfield, Michigan, USA
  • D.  Lewinson
    • Division of Morphological Sciences, The Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel

DOI: 10.1007/s002239900447

Cite this article as:
Rachmiel, A., Laufer, D., Jackson, I. et al. Calcif Tissue Int (1998) 62: 370. doi:10.1007/s002239900447


Midface bone lengthening was performed on three young, adult sheep using distraction osteogenesis following osteotomy of the maxilla and mounting of an extraoral fixation device. The midface was gradually distracted, 2 mm/day, for 21 days, up to approximately 40 mm. A marked midface advancement was noted. Following a further 6 weeks of retention, the device was removed and the animals were followed for 1 year. Biopsies specimens were taken from the distracted area at the end of the distraction period, after the additional 6 weeks of retention, and finally 1 year later. A nondistracted area of the maxillary bone served as control. The specimens were analyzed histologically, histochemically, and by scanning electron microscopy for the ultrastructural pattern, mineralization, mineral content, and approximate Ca2+ concentration. Clinically and radiographically, all sheep fully bridged the experimental gap. Histologically, at the completion of distraction, collagen bundles and slender bone trabeculae oriented in the direction of the distraction could be seen. At the end of the retention period, the trabeculae thickened noticeably and were partially replaced by mature lamellar bone. At the end of 1 year and after completion of the process of remodeling, the pattern of the distracted area resembled the control area. The mineralization, as reflected by quantitative calcium analysis, compared with the nondistracted area, demonstrated a low rate of mineralization after 3 weeks of lengthening, increased 6 weeks later, and after 1 year became nearly the same as in the nondistracted area. In conclusion, distraction osteogenesis provides satisfactory quantitative and structural new bone.

Key words: Bone lengthening — Distraction osteogenesis — Bone repair.

Copyright information

© 1998 Springer-Verlag New York Inc.