Spring-assisted posterior vault expansion in multisuture craniosynostosis
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Patients with Apert and Crouzon syndromes and craniofrontonasal dysplasia need a vault expansion within the first year of life to treat or prevent the development of raised intracranial pressure. Many craniofacial units perform a conventional posterior vault expansion as initial surgery; an alternative to this technique is the spring-assisted posterior vault expansion. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the efficacy of spring-assisted posterior vault expansion and to compare this technique with the conventional method.
A retrospective study was conducted among all consecutive patients who received a posterior vault expansion between 2006 and 2011. Patients treated with springs were compared with patients treated with the conventional technique for blood loss, duration of surgery, postoperative hospital admittance, increase in skull circumference and anterior-posterior length, and complications.
Of the 31 included patients, 15 were treated with springs, and 16, with the conventional technique. Patients treated with springs had a significantly larger increase in skull circumference and anterior-posterior length, and not significant changes in blood loss compared with the conventional group. Complications in the conventional group were the following: minor dural tear in three patients, problematic wound healing in one patient, and insufficient expansion in one patient. Spring-related complications included skin perforation in two patients, a minor dural tear in two patients, and leakage of cerebrospinal fluid after an unnoticed dural tear during spring placement in one patient.
Spring-assisted posterior vault expansion has some advantages over the conventional technique and is, therefore, the preferred technique in our center.
KeywordsCraniosynostosis Posterior vault expansion Springs
This study was funded by the Nuts Ohra foundation and Stichting Hoofdzaken.
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