PURPOSE: Posterior calvarial vault expansion using distraction osteogenesis is performed for syndromic craniosynostosis as the first choice. This procedure allows far greater intracranial volume than fronto-orbital advancement (FOA). This study aimed to determine the most suitable timing of posterior distraction or FOA to sufficiently increase the intracranial volume and remodel the skull shape. PATIENTS AND METHODS: From 2014 to 2017, the authors performed posterior distraction in 13 patients with syndromic craniosynostosis. Data on premature suture fusion, age at first visit, age at surgery, skull thickness, and complications were collected. RESULTS: Five patients underwent posterior distraction at approximately 12 months of age and had no complications, including cerebrospinal fluid leakage or gull wing deformity. However, during the waiting period for the operation, the skull deformity continues to extend upward (turribrachycephaly). To prevent progress of the skull deformity, the authors performed the operation at approximately 6 months of age in 7 patients. However, in 3 of 7 patients whose lambdoid sutures were opening, gull wing deformity occurred. From these results, in a patient with severe Beare-Stevenson syndrome, the authors performed FOA first at 5 months of age, followed by posterior distraction at 12 months of age, and achieved favorable results. CONCLUSIONS: Treatment patterns are patient specific and should be tailored to premature suture fusion, specific skull deformity, and required intracranial volume of each patient.
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