Distraction Osteogenesis

Distraction osteogenesis (DO) is a relatively new method of treatment for selected deformities and defects from the oral and facial skeleton. It was first used in 1903. Within the 1950s, the Russian orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Gabriel Ilizarov slowly perfected the surgical and postoperative management of distraction osteogenesis treatment to fix deformities and repair defects of the arms and legs. His work went mostly unnoticed until he presented to the Western Medical Society in the mid-1960s.

Distraction osteogenesis was created to treat defects of the oral and facial region in 1990. Since that time, the surgical and technological advances made in the field of distraction osteogenesis have provided the oral and maxillofacial surgeons with a safe and predictable method to treat selected deformities of the oral and facial skeleton.

Dr. Hussainy uses distraction osteogenesis to treat selected deformities and defects from the oral and facial skeleton. For those who have questions regarding distraction osteogenesis, please call our office and schedule a scheduled appointment with the doctor.

Frequently Asked Questions About Distraction Osteogenesis

Exactly what does the term distraction osteogenesis mean?

Simply stated, distraction osteogenesis means the slow movement apart (distraction) of two bony segments inside a manner so that new bone is allowed to fill in the space created by the separating bony segments.

Is the surgery for distraction osteogenesis more involved than “traditional surgery” for the same procedure?

No. Distraction osteogenesis surgical treatment is usually done with an outpatient basis with many of the patients home the same day of surgery. The surgical treatment itself is less invasive so there is less pain and swelling.

Will my insurance company cover the cost of osteogenesis surgical treatment?

Most insurance companies will cover the cost of the osteogenesis surgical treatment so long as there’s adequate and accurate documentation from the patient’s condition. Obviously, individual benefits inside the insurance company policy vary. Once you have a consultation at our office, we’ll assist you in determining whether your insurance company will cover a specific surgical procedure.

Is distraction osteogenesis painful?

Since all distraction osteogenesis surgical procedures are done as the patient is under general anesthesia, pain during the surgical procedure isn’t a problem. Postoperatively, you’ll be givenappropriate analgesics (drugs) to help keep you comfortable, and antibiotics to battle off infection. Activation of the distraction device to slowly separate the bones could cause some patients mild discomfort. In general, the slow movement of bony segments produces discomfort roughly analogous to having braces tightened.

Do you know the advantages of distraction osteogenesis vs. traditional surgery for the same condition?

Distraction osteogenesis surgical treatments typically have less pain and swelling compared to traditional surgical treatment for the same condition. Distraction osteogenesis eliminates the requirement for bone grafts, and therefore, another surgical site. Lastly, distraction osteogenesis is associated with greater stability when utilized in major cases where significant movement of bony segments are involved.

What are the disadvantages of distraction osteogenesis?

Distraction osteogenesis requires the patient to return to the surgeon’s office frequently during the initial fourteen days after surgery. This really is necessary because during this time frame the surgeon will need to monitor the individual for any infection and teach the individual how you can activate the appliance. In some instances, a second minor office surgical procedure is necessary to get rid of the distraction appliance.

Can distraction osteogenesis be used instead of bone grafts to add bone to my jaws?

Yes. Recent advances in technology have provided the oral and maxillofacial surgeon with an easy to place and use distraction device that can be used to slowly grow bone in selected areas of bone loss that has occurred in the upper and lower jaws. The newly formed bone can then serve as an excellent foundation for dental implants.

Does distraction osteogenesis leave scars on the face?

No. The entire surgery is performed within the mouth and the distraction devices used by the doctor remain inside the mouth. There are no facial surgical incisions are made so no facial scars result.

Are there any age limitations for patients who can receive osteogenesis?

No. distraction osteogenesis works well on patients of all ages. In general, the younger the patient the shorter the distraction time and the faster the consolidation phase. Adults require slightly longer period of distraction and consolidation because the bone regenerative capabilities are slightly slower than those of adolescence or infants.