Ilizarov technique in Maxillary Alveolar Distraction: A report of three patients.
O’Connell J, Kearns G.
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Mid Western Regional Hospital,
Distraction Osteogenesis (DO) was first described by Von Langenbeck 1in 1869 and later
by Codivilla2 in 1905, and is defined as the process of generating new bone in a gap,
created by osteotomy, between two bone segments in response to the application of
graduated tensile stress across the gap3. The technique remained under-developed until a
series of experimental and clinical studies4, 5 performed in the 1950’s in Western Siberia
by the Russian surgeon Ilizarov, advanced the technique. He successfully applied DO to
the endochondral bone of the upper and lower limbs. Uniquely, bone regeneration by DO
is accompanied by simultaneous expansion of the functional soft tissue matrix, including
blood vessels, nerves, skin, muscle, mucosa, fascia, ligaments, cartilage and periosteum6.
The application of DO in the maxillofacial complex, as an alternative to orthognathic
surgery, began in 1973 with Snyder et al7 and in1977 with Micheili et al8 who reported
on mandibular elongation in dogs. In 1992, McCarthy et al9 reported the use of
distraction to treat patients with hemifacial microsomia and Nagar syndrome.
DO is now used for vertical augmentation of the alveolar ridge10, surgical palatal
expansion11, anterior advancement in maxillary hypoplasia12, correction of congenital
facial abnormalities13, treating cleft patients14, mandibular symphysis elongation15, and
mandibular reconstruction after tumour reconstruction16. Chin and Toth17 described
alveolar distraction osteogenesis(ADO) in 1996. This technique is used for increasing
alveolar bone where rehabilitation with dental implants is required. Some of the
advantages of ADO, compared with the conventional techniques of bone grafting and
guided tissue regeneration, are decreased bone resorption, no donor site morbidity, and
associated soft- tissue regeneration18.
The purpose of this retrospective study was to analyse the outcome of ADO used to treat
Anterior Maxillary Atrophy including vertical and horizontal defects, prior to placement
of endosseous implants.
Patients and Methods
This is a review of 3 patients who underwent Alveolar Distraction Osteogenesis at the
Oral and Maxillofacial Department, Mid Western Regional Hospital, Limerick. All
patients were male, with a mean age of 34 years (range, 21 to 50 years). All had a
diagnosis of anterior maxillary deficiency and loss of associated teeth, secondary to
trauma. The absence of alveolar bone, in a horizontal and vertical direction, prevented the
placement of endosseous implants used to enhance function and aesthetics.
All patients were treated using the following protocol:
1) Creation of a three sided osteotomy in the maxillary alveolus and placement of
the distractor under general anaesthesia.
2) Latency period of 5 days.
3) Distractor activation at a rate of 1mm per day.
4) Consolodation phase of 12 weeks.
Following consolidation, the distractor was removed. Adequate vertical alveolar height
was achieved in all cases. Horizontal bone deficiency was corrected using autogenous
bone grafts (1 mandibular symphyseal and 2 iliac crest).
Following bone graft healing of approximately four months, all patients underwent
placement of dental implants with subsequent restoration of the dentition by their dentist.
The mean follow up was 30 months (range, 3 to 36 months).
In patients with severe horizontal or vertical maxillary alveolar atrophy, the combination
of Alveolar Distraction to increase vertical bone height and the associated soft tissue
envelope followed by horizontal autogenous bone grafting, provides a predictable
increase in alveolar bone volume to permit implant placement and restoration of the
Von Langenbeck B. About the pathologic length growth of long bones and its employement in surgical
praxis. Berl Klin Wochen Schr 1869; 26: 265.
Codvilla A. On the means of lengthening in the lower limbs, the muscles and tissues which are shortened
through deformity. Am J Orthop Surg 1905; 2: 353-357.
Saulacic N, Lizuka M, Martin S, Garcia A. Alveolar distraction osteogenesis: a systematic review.
Int. J Oral Maxillofac. Surg. 2008; 37:1-7.
Ilizarov GA. The tension-stress effect on the genesis and growth of tissues. Part 1. The influence of
stability of fixation and soft-tissue preservation. Clin Orthop 1989; 238:249-281.
Ilizarov GA. The tension-stress effect on the genesis and growth of tissues. Part 2. The influence of the
rate and frequency of distraction. Clin Orthop 1989; 239: 263-285.
Swennen G, Schliephake H, Dempf R, Schierle H, Malevez C. Craniofacial distraction osteogenesis: a
review of the literature. Part 1: clinical studies. Int. J. Oral. Maxillfac. Surg. 2001; 30: 89-103.
Synder C, Levine G, Swanson H, et al. Mandibular lengthening by gradual distraction; A preliminary
report. Plast Recosntr Surg 1973; 51: 506.
Michieli S, Miotti B: Lengthening of the mandibular body by gradual surgical-orthodontic distraction.
J Oral Surg 1977; 35: 187.
McCarthy J, Schreiber J, Karp N, et al: Lengthening the human mandible by gradual distraction. Plast
Reconstr Surg 1992; 89: 1.
Jensen O, Cockrell R, Kuhike L, Reed C. Anterior maxillary alveolar distraction osteogenesis: a
prospective 5-year clinical study. Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 2002; 17: 52-68.
Bell W, Epker B: Surgical orthodontic expansion of the maxilla. Am J Orthod 1976; 70: 517.
Dolanmaz D, Karaman A, Ozyesil A. Maxillary anterior segmental advancement by using distraction
osteogenesis: a acse report. Angle Orthod 2003; 73: 201-205.
Chin M: Distraction osteogenesis in maxillofacial surgey, in Lynch S, Genco R, Marx R (eds): Tissue
engineering: Applications in Maxillofacial Surgery and Periodontics. Carol Stream, Quintessence, 1999,
Ko EWC, Figueroa A, Polley J: Maxillary advancement with distraction osteogenesis by use of a rigid
external distraction device: A 1-year follow up. J Oral Maxillofac Surg 2000; 58:959.
Bell W, Harper R, Gonzalez M, et al: Distraction osteogenesis to widen the mandible. Br j Maxillofac
Surg 1997; 35:41.
Fukuda M, Iino M, Yamaoka K, et al: Two-stage distraction osteogenesis for mandibular segmental
dfect. J Oral Maxillofac Surg 2004; 62: 1164.
Chin M, Toth B. Distraction osteogenesis in maxillofacial surgery using internal devices: review of five
cases. J Oral Maxillofac Surg 1996; 54: 45-53.
Mazzonetto R, Allais M, Maurette P, Moreira R. A retrospective study of the potential complications
during alveolar distraction osteogenesis in 55 patients. Int. J. Oral Maxillofac. Surg. 2007; 36: 6-10.