Distraction Osteogenesis

Distraction Osteogenesis is a unique technique of treatment used for treating some rare deformities and defects involving the skull and jaw. The earliest use of this method was in 1903. Dr. Gabriel Iliazarov, a Russian orthopedic Surgeon, perfected the surgical procedure and post-operative management in the 1950s, using this technique in the treatment and repair of deformities of the arms and legs. His work came to limelight when he presented to the Western medical society in the middle of the 1960s.

In more recent years, Distraction Osteogenesis was used to treat defects of the facial and oral regions in 1990. After then, there have been continuous advances that have provided oral and maxillofacial surgeons with a safe and predictable alternative for treating some particular deformities.

If you like to know more about Distraction Osteogenesis, feel free to call our office through our contact phone numbers and schedule a consultation with our experienced surgeons.


What is Distraction Osteogenesis?

In simple terms, distraction osteogenesis is a slow movement apart of two bone segments in a way that the new bone is permitted to grow and fill up the space created by separating the bone segments.

Is the Surgical procedure more complicated than that of a conventional process for the same procedure?

No. Distraction Osteogenesis is an outpatient procedure, and patients often return home the same day of the procedure. The surgical technique is less invasive, and there are minimal pain and swelling.

Will my insurance company cover the cost of Osteogenesis surgical procedure?

Yes, provided there is appropriate documentation about the patient’s condition and treatment, most insurance companies will cater for the cost of treatment. However, your benefits are directly linked to the policy of your insurance company. During a consultation in our office, we can help you determine if your insurance company will cover the cost of your treatment.

Is distraction osteogenesis a painful procedure?

You will not experience any pain during the surgery because the procedure is done under general anesthesia. After the surgery, we will also provide you with analgesics (pain killers) and antibiotics to minimize pain and prevent infection. The distraction (separating) device may produce mild discomfort, and in general, the slow separation of the bony fragment produces discomfort similar to having braces tightened.

What is the advantage of distraction osteogenesis over traditional surgery for a similar condition?

Unlike traditional surgery, distraction osteogenesis is less painful, has more excellent stability, does not need a bone graft, and presents with less swelling and hospital admission period.

What are the disadvantages of Distraction Osteogenesis?

The procedure requires a followup visit to the surgeon for two weeks after surgery for close monitoring of the patient and to teach the patient how to use the appliance effectively. Some minor surgical procedures may also be required to remove the distraction device.

Can this procedure be used in place of a bone graft to my jaws?

Yes, oral and maxillofacial surgeons now have access to distraction devices, thanks to the recent advances in technology. They have been used to successfully grow new bones, which also serve as the excellent bone foundation for dental implants.

What about scars on the face after distraction osteogenesis?

One good thing about this procedure is the cosmetic advantage, the surgery is performed within the mouth, and the distraction devices are placed inside the mouth of the patient by our trained surgeons. There is no need for facial incisions, hence no facial scars with this procedure.

Is there any age restriction to the use of Distraction osteogenesis?

No. This technique works perfectly for the patient of all ages, even though younger patients may have a shorter distraction time and a quicker stage of consolidation because their tissues are still able to grow faster. Older patients may require a longer duration because the regeneration capability of their bones are slightly reduced than those of adolescence or infants.