It is well accepted among craniofacial surgeons that surgery does not improve mental status but does prevent worsening or deterioration of cognitive and mental function. In this report, we describe significant improvement in behavioral, learning skills and visual acuity for a Crouzon patient who underwent late posteriorvault distraction osteogenesis.
A 9-year-old Crouzon patient was referred to our hospital, presenting severe intracranial hypertension. The patient had previously undergone a strip craniectomy in early infancy at another medical institution, but there was no subsequent follow-up. Magnetic resonance imaging showed Chiari type I malformation and fundoscopy revealed papilledema. At the time of referral, the patient was not attending a regular school, had not acquired reading skills, was unable to concentrate, and could not accomplish school-related tasks that were standard for children in his age group.
The patient underwent posterior vault distraction osteogenesis and showed concentration improvement and acquisition of fluent reading skills. Chiari type I malformation resolved as well as papilledema. visual acuity improved at Snellen test preoperatively from 20/200 to 20/60 at postoperative test. Ventricle size remained unchanged subsequent to performance of the posterior cranial vault distraction. The occipital veins were less visible upon clinical examination and less pronounced when palpated, and the bruit had completely disappeared.
Late posterior vault distraction osteogenesis can improve behavioral, learning skills and visual acuity as shown in this 9-year-old Crouzon patient.