Indexed on: 11 Jul '07Published on: 11 Jul '07Published in: Current opinion in otolaryngology & head and neck surgery
Distraction osteogenesis is finding increasing application in the management of mandibular defects. It provides an alternative method of mandibular reconstruction in varied clinical settings, notably following trauma and ablation of malignant tumors. Many recent studies have explored modifications in surgical technique, refinements in device design, and experiments in animal models. This review attempts to discuss all of the above.In addition to managing the segmental mandibular gap, the vertical distraction technique is highly useful for increasing fibular bony height, allowing osseointegrated implant placement and dental rehabilitation. Variations in distraction planes, parameters and device placement have made it possible to tailor appropriate reconstructive strategies to the specific patient. Newer developments in distractor design and constituents, and the application of staged distraction procedures, have facilitated optimal management of the challenging defect.Distraction osteogenesis is a continually evolving field of research and study, and an aesthetically and functionally acceptable option for managing extensive mandibular defects, and those not amenable to conventional methods. It offers distinct advantages over other available reconstructive options, but does have its disadvantages. With further improvement in devices and technique, it has the potential of being much more widely used in the future.