Stoppers in Red II distraction device: Is it possible to prevent pin migration?

Mavili M., Vargel I., Tuncbilek G.

JOURNAL OF CRANIOFACIAL SURGERY, vol.15, no.3, pp.377-383, 2004 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


Distraction osteogenesis has become popular for the treatment of hypoplastic congenital craniomaxillofacial anomalies. Rigid external distraction (RED 11) after Le Fort III osteotomy was shown to be a highly effective treatment for the management of midface hypoplasia. This device is used with a halo vest, which is placed at the cranial equator. Intracranial penetration of the fixation pins of the halo is one of the complications of an external distraction device. To prevent pin penetration in rigid external distraction, the authors designed polylactic acid/polyglycolic acid (PLA/PGA) plates that were circular, the plates were 0.8 cm in diameter and had 1.5-mm holes in the center, through which the tip of the pins would pass. To quantify the applied torque by manual tightening of the screws of the distraction device and to measure intraosseous cone depth created by the penetration of the conical part of the screws with and without the PLA/PGA composite stopper, first an in vitro experiment was undertaken on cadaver. Then these PLA/PGA plaques, or stoppers, were placed over the bone surfaces of the cranium of the patients where the tip of the pins press. PLA/PGA stoppers are malleable and adapt their shape to the interactive forces between bone and the pins. They act as a second barrier, and spread the pressure of the screws to larger surfaces, thus securing better stabilization. The penetration of wider portions of the screw into scalp is reduced, minimizing the scalp damage caused by the screws. Biodegradable and biocompatible PLA/PGA stoppers avoid intracranial migration of the fixation pins, especially in children.