Posterior calvarial vault osteodistraction (PCVO) has become increasingly popular in the correction of craniosynostosis. When compared to cranioplasty, PCVO offers a shorter, less invasive operation, greater intracranial volume advancement and a lower rate of relapse. In general, distraction protocols are based primarily on clinical observations rather than systematic research. Faster distraction protocols may reduce complications. However, distraction protocols producing higher forces can increase complications. Thus, we need to understand these forces in order to improve distraction protocols and devices. We developed a force measurement method that can be used on PCVO devices. Here, we present preliminary data about the forces developed during PCVO. We measured the forces in four bicoronal craniosynostosis patients during PCVO. We observed a linear-like trend between the force increase and the distraction distance within distraction sessions. We also observed a step-wise force increase between distraction sessions and found that the distraction force relaxed rapidly shortly after the distraction session. The mean maximum pre-distraction force for one distracter was 20.4 N, while the mean maximum end-distraction force for one distracter was 57.6 N. Our data suggests that current treatment protocols might be re-evaluated favouring shorter distraction distances and more frequent distraction sessions.
- Craniosynostosis surgery
- Force measurement
- Posterior calvarial vault osteodistraction