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Bone lengthening technique proves useful in patients with cleft palate
Date:3/14/2014

Philadelphia, Pa. (March 14, 2014) - A technique called distraction osteogenesis can create increased length of the upper jaw in patients with cleft lip and palate deformities, reports a study in the March issue of The Journal of Craniofacial Surgery, edited by Mutaz B. Habal, MD, published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health.

Distraction Technique Used to Lengthen the Palate

Dr. Emeka Nkenke of Erlangen University Hospital, Germany, and colleagues, report on the use of distraction osteogenesis to lengthen the maxilla (upper jaw) bone in patients with cleft lip and palate. In this technique, hardware is placed to gradually "stretch" bone in the desired direction. The researchers studied the bone-lengthening approach because the maxilla often regresses toward its original position after standard surgical advancement techniques.

Distraction osteogenesis was used in seven adolescent to young adult patients with cleft lip and palate deformities and "maxillary hypoplasia" (very small maxilla). The technique successfully increased the length of the maxilla by an average of 6.4 millimeters. During follow-up, the new bone regressed significantlyby about 7.5 percent. However, that was much less than the 50 percent or greater regression that can occur after standard surgical approaches.

Complications included an infection in one patient and loosening of the distraction hardware in another. Dr. Nkenke and coauthors conclude that, when needed to create maxillary bone length of no more than 12 millimeters, the benefits of the distraction osteogenesis technique outweigh the risks.

Another paper in the March issue includes a report of a very unusual complication from a sports-related injury.

Three Months after Soccer Injury,
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Contact: Connie Hughes
Connie.Hughes@wolterskluwer.com
646-674-6348
Wolters Kluwer Health
Source:Eurekalert

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