Children with craniofacial anomalies are predisposed to airway obstruction and frequently require airway intervention. Tracheotomy is performed when the airway obstruction is severe and refractory to other less invasive interventions. Tracheotomy is associated with significant morbidity, and there is a trend noted in the literature toward achieving earlier decannulation by the institution of definitive structural changes to the mandible. Mandibular distraction osteogenesis has been shown to alleviate airway obstruction in the pediatric population. We report a case in which mandibular distraction osteogenesis was successfully carried out in a neonate with acute airway obstruction at birth as a result of combined Pierre Robin sequence and Klippel-Feil syndrome. After 1 year, the patient still had an adequate airway with tolerable scarring and no neurologic sequelae.
Judge B, Hamlar D, Rimell FL. Mandibular Distraction Osteogenesis in a Neonate. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1999;125(9):1029-1032. doi:10.1001/archotol.125.9.1029