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Indian J Dent Res. 2019 Jul-Aug;30(4):625-629. doi: 10.4103/ijdr.IJDR_626_19.

Tracheostomy and mandibular distraction in acute sleep apnea.

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Balaji Dental and Craniofacial Hospital, Teynampet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.


Severe restriction of airway volume in the orofacial region, caused by temporomandibular joint (TMJ) ankylosis, may lead to obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). If the TMJ ankylosis is progressive, rarely, the caregivers may fail to notice the problem. Such patients may have only symptoms of snoring, daytime sleepiness, fatigue, inability to concentrate, and irritability. At times, emergency tracheostomy may be needed to increase the oxygen supply. Distraction osteogenesis (DO) is a less invasive surgical technique in the management of such OSA by correcting the reduced airway space. In DO, the angulation of the distractors and the pace of activation determine the success of the neo-generation of segments of bone. The formation of a well-corticated mandibular canal (MC) in the newly generated bone is an evidence of the success of the procedure. Such bilateral formation of the MC is not reported from this part of the world. We report a case of a 4-year-old boy who was struggling with OSA due to TMJ ankylosis. He was successfully treated by bilateral mandibular DO. The formation and cortication of the MC is discussed with emphasis on the neural regeneration.


Bifocal mandibular distraction; distraction osteogenesis; mandible reconstruction; obstructive sleep apnea

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