Pierre Robin sequence (also known as Pierre Robin syndrome) is a condition where babies are born witha small lower...
Internal Mandible Distractors
Evolution of Internal Mandible Distractors
Mandibular distraction (also known as distraction osteogenesis) involves precise cuts being made in the lower jaw bone. A device is applied to bridge the cut part of the jaw. The device is secured to the bone with small screws. On a daily basis, the device is designed to slowly separate the cut jaw anywhere from 0.3-1.0 mm a day. This allows for new bone to form in the cut area while lengthening the lower jaw. As the jaw moves forward, it pulls the tongue with it out of the windpipe. The devices that are applied to the cut area of the jaw may be either internal (where the device is buried beneath the skin) or external (where the device is outside the body and it is connected to the bone via pins). Each has their advantages and disadvantages. What is best for the infant will be reviewed by the surgeon.
KLS Martin, a family-run medical technology company based in Germany, has developed numerous distraction devices adapted for various regions of the craniofacial skeleton. The specific device selected will depend on the area of the jawbone that needs to be lengthened. For infants with Pierre Robin sequence, the Zurich micro II distractor is a common choice. It is an internal device with a small arm that protrudes from the skin, usually just behind the ear. It has the ability to length the bone by 15-30mm. The design of the device is symmetrical (allowing for use on the right and/or left side) and the system has an anti-relapse ratchet that prevents accidental backward movement.