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Takuya Fujimoto, Keisuke Imai, Makoto Takahashi, Takaharu Hatano, Motoki Tamai, Tomoaki Nakano, Hiroaki Sakamoto, and Kenji Ohata


In 1997 the authors presented the case of a 3-year-old girl who underwent complete resection of a huge tumor via a new technique using a dismasking flap. Since that report, 14 patients have undergone surgery using this technique. There have been few reports on long-term follow-up after a craniofacial surgical approach and reconstruction of a huge tissue defect. The authors report details of this procedure based on these cases, including long-term follow-up in the original case.


The dismasking flap is a cranioorbitofacial degloving method that uses a circumpalpebral approach with or without piriform margin incisions and presents a wide surgical field under direct vision. Fourteen patients have undergone surgery using the dismasking flap technique. These patients had multiple craniofacial bone fractures (3 cases) and malignant or premalignant craniofacial tumors (11 cases). Patients ranged in age from 3 to 62 years old. The longest follow-up period was 15 years. The results of these cases are reported regarding changes in the facial bones and soft tissues with growth, the various pathologies involved, and complications.


Complications using this approach were lagophthalmos with ectropion of the lower eyelid, disturbance of the superior orbital nerve, disturbance of the inferior orbital nerve, maxillary hypoplasia, and blepharoptosis. In all affected patients these complications were almost always temporary. In 2 of the 14 cases, a repair operation for lagophthalmos was necessary, while others showed spontaneous improvement approximately 6 months to a year after the procedure. In the case with the longest follow-up duration, the patient's nose is asymmetrical, especially the alar portion, due to hypoplasia of the grafted bone and/or the fixation with titanium miniplates.


This flap is very useful for en bloc resection of huge skull base tumors, multiple craniofacial bone fractures, and as a lateral approach to a deep portion of the middle cranial base. Careful attention is necessary, however, because one may encounter unexpected complications if one does not ensure adequate protection of the perioperative flap. Meticulous postoperative management is also essential.

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Keisuke Imai, Hiroyuki Komune, Chiaya Toda, Takeru Nomachi, Eiji Enoki, Hiroaki Sakamoto, Shohei Kitano, Mitsuo Hatoko, and Takuya Fujimoto

Object. The authors describe their experience in remodeling the shape of the cranium in children with craniosynostosis by using gradual distraction. In half of the cases, a new distraction device developed by the authors was used.

Methods. Twenty children with craniosynostosis underwent frontoorbital advancement and cranial remodeling assisted by gradual distraction. There were five children with brachycephaly, two with oxycephaly, five with scaphocephaly, two with plagiocephaly, one with combined scaphocephaly and plagiocephaly, and five with trigonocephaly. Four cases were syndromic and 16 were nonsyndromic. The patients ranged in age from 3 to 50 months (mean 14.5 months) at the first surgery. Simulated surgery was first performed on a three-dimensional solid model made of polyurethane, which accurately represented cranial flexibility, to determine the most favorable osteotomy line. Distraction was initiated 1 week postoperatively. The speed and extent of advancement (maximum extension 45 mm) were predetermined on the basis of previously reported criteria and the results of simulated surgery. Postoperatively, the cranial configuration was favorable in all cases. Spontaneous remodeling of irregularities and/or gaps apparent after distraction was found to occur 2 to 5 months after removal of the distraction devices, especially in patients with trigonocephaly or scaphocephaly. No major perioperative complication was observed in any patient. There were minor complications in six of the first 10 cases, including exposure of the device, shaft slippage, and fluid discharge. A new device was developed and used on the last 10 patients treated; it successfully eliminated device exposure and shaft slippage. A 3-year follow-up review confirmed that there was no relapse of advanced bones.

Conclusions. Highly satisfactory results were achieved in cases of both syndromic and nonsyndromic craniosynostosis when gradual distraction was performed.

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Masahiro Funaba, Yasuaki Imajo, Hidenori Suzuki, Norihiro Nishida, Yuji Nagao, Takuya Sakamoto, Kazuhiro Fujimoto, and Takashi Sakai


Neurological and imaging findings play significant roles in the diagnosis of degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM). Consistency between neurological and imaging findings is important for diagnosing DCM. The reasons why neurological findings exhibit varying sensitivity for DCM and their associations with radiological findings are unclear. This study aimed to identify associations between radiological parameters and neurological findings in DCM and elucidate the utility of concordance between imaging and neurological findings for diagnosing DCM.


One hundred twenty-one patients with DCM were enrolled. The Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) score, radiological parameters, MRI and kinematic CT myelography (CTM) parameters, and the affected spinal level (according to multimodal spinal cord evoked potential examinations) were assessed. Kinematic CTM was conducted with neutral positioning or at maximal extension or flexion of the cervical spine. The cross-sectional area (CSA) of the spinal cord, dynamic change in the CSA, C2–7 range of motion, and C2–7 angle were measured. The associations between radiological parameters and hyperreflexia, the Hoffmann reflex, the Babinski sign, and positional sense were analyzed via multiple logistic regression analysis.


In univariate analyses, the upper- and lower-limb JOA scores were found to be significantly associated with a positive Hoffmann reflex and a positive Babinski sign, respectively. In the multivariate analysis, a positive Hoffmann reflex was associated with a higher MRI grade (p = 0.026, OR 2.23) and a responsible level other than C6–7 (p = 0.0017, OR 0.061). A small CSA during flexion was found to be significantly associated with a positive Babinski sign (p = 0.021, OR 0.90). The presence of ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (p = 0.0045, OR 0.31) and a larger C2–7 angle during flexion (p = 0.01, OR 0.89) were significantly associated with abnormal great toe proprioception (GTP).


This study found that the Hoffmann reflex is associated with chronic and severe spinal cord compression but not the dynamic factors. The Babinski sign is associated with severe spinal cord compression during neck flexion. The GTP is associated with large cervical lordosis. These imaging features can help us understand the characteristics of the neurological findings.