Less is more: Does the addition of barrel staves improve results in endoscopic strip craniectomy for sagittal craniosynostosis?

Benjamin C. Wood, Edward S. Ahn, Joanna Y. Wang, Albert K. Oh, Robert F. Keating, Gary F. Rogers, Suresh N. Magge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE Endoscopic strip craniectomy (ESC) with postoperative helmet orthosis is a well-established treatment option for sagittal craniosynostosis. There are many technical variations to the surgery ranging from simple strip craniectomy to methods that employ multiple cranial osteotomies. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the addition of lateral barrel-stave osteotomies during ESC improved morphological outcomes. METHODS An IRB-approved retrospective review was conducted on a consecutive series of cases involving ESC for sagittal craniosynostosis at 2 different institutions from March 2008 to August 2014. The patients in Group A underwent ESC and those in Group B had ESC with lateral barrel-stave osteotomies. Demographic and perioperative data were recorded; postoperative morphological outcomes were analyzed using 3D laser scan data acquired from a single orthotic manufacturer who managed patients from both institutions. RESULTS A total of 73 patients were included (34 in Group A and 39 in Group B). Compared with Group B patients, Group A patients had a shorter mean anesthetic time (161.7 vs 195 minutes; p < 0.01) and operative time (71.6 vs 111 minutes; p < 0.01). The mean hospital stay was similar for the 2 groups (1.2 days for Group A vs 1.4 days for Group B; p = 0.1). Adequate postoperative data on morphological outcomes were reported by the orthotic manufacturer for 65 patients (29 in Group A and 36 in Group B). The 2 groups had similar improvement in the cephalic index (CI): Group A, mean change 10.5% (mean preoperative CI 72.6, final 80.4) at a mean follow-up of 13.2 months; Group B, mean change 12.2% (mean preoperative CI 71.0, final 79.6) at a mean follow-up of 19.4 months. The difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.15). CONCLUSIONS Both ESC alone and ESC with barrel staving produced excellent outcomes. However, the addition of barrel staves did not improve the results and, therefore, may not be warranted in the endoscopic treatment of sagittal craniosynostosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-90
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2017


  • Barrel stave
  • Craniofacial
  • Endoscopic strip craniectomy
  • Sagittal craniosynostosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology


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