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At MassOMS, we are bringing cutting-edge techniques, technologies, and services to the people of Massachusetts. With the ever-evolving change and growth in the surgical field, more and more practices are being implemented to meet the needs of various conditions. With distraction osteogenesis, our team is able to reform the natural bone structure through a gradual process of expansion. 

It should be noted that any surgical technique proposed or practiced by our professionals is one that has been proven safe, effective, and backed by years of research and development. To learn more about this procedure, we invite you to review the information below. 

What is Distraction Osteogenesis?

Distraction osteogenesis is a process used to generate bone tissue for the purpose of correcting congenital or acquired skeletal deformities. This process is used to lengthen or expand natural bone tissue through a process known as osteogenesis. Osteogenesis is the process of bone formation and can be surgically induced through the application of mechanical appliances, known as distractors.

The technique itself takes place over several months and is only initiated by surgical means; this process entails the following:

  • In order to begin growing new bone tissue, the natural bone must first be severed and separated at the point of desired bone formation. 
  • Once this is complete, a metal frame, or distractor, is placed on or within the bone. The distractor holds the severed bone into place with only a slight gap between the two pieces; it is within this gap that osteogenesis will occur.  
  • Before closing the area, we will connect the distractor frame to an external source, which will be used to maintain tension and gradually pull the bone apart. 
  • As the bone is pulled apart, new bone tissue will continue to form in the gap created by the distraction process. 
  • This new bone tissue will continue to grow until it reaches the desired length or shape. Once the new bone tissue has reached the desired size, the distractor is removed, and the area is allowed to heal naturally.

Benefits of Distraction Osteogenesis

Distraction osteogenesis offers a number of benefits when compared to other bone-lengthening procedures or grafts, such as:

  • Reduced surgery time: Because the distractor is gradually separating the bone, the expansion treatment occurs gradually over an extended period of time. This means the surgery is quite quick, and patients are allowed to return home the same day.
  • Enhanced management: This procedure also allows for a more gradual and controlled process of bone lengthening, which leads to fewer complications and more precise results.
  • Minimally invasive: The surgery used to insert the distractor is quite minimally invasive, meaning there is little damage to any surrounding tissue. 
  • Improved patient experience: This procedure results in significantly less pain and a quicker overall recovery time when compared to other bone-lengthening procedures. In fact, the process of expansion and bone growth is painless.

What to Expect After Distraction Osteogenesis

The first few days after surgery, you can expect to feel some pain and discomfort. This is normal and will gradually lessen as your tissue heals. You may also have some swelling and bruising surrounding your incisions. This surface trauma should all resolve within a couple of weeks. 

In the following weeks and months after surgery, you will need to return to MassOMS for check-ups on your progress and to have your device adjusted. The length of time that you need to wear the distractor will depend on your individual situation. In most cases, it is worn for between four and six months. 

MassOMS will work with you to establish a treatment plan that is tailored to your needs. You can expect to see gradual improvements in the alignment of your bones as they are gradually moved into their new positions. It will take several months for the full effects of the treatment to be seen.

If you have any questions or concerns about your treatment, please do not hesitate to contact our office. We are here to help you through every step of the process.