An age-related algorithm for management of micro-orbitism from anophthalmia: a systematic review with supplemental case reports

Brandon J. De Ruiter, Robert P. Lesko, M. Grace Knudsen, George Kamel, Jinesh Shah, Vikas S. Kotha, Anne Barmettler, Mark A. Prendes, Anand R. Kumar, Edward H. Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Management of pediatric anophthalmia and resultant micro-orbitism is challenging. The efficacy and safety of treatment methods vary with age as bony changes grow recalcitrant to implants in those at skeletal maturity and osteotomies become technically challenging following frontal sinus pneumatization. This study aims to review methods for managing micro-orbitism and develop an age-based treatment approach. A systematic literature review was conducted. Data were screened and extracted by two investigators and relevant English-language primary-literature was analyzed. Information on sample-size, number of orbits, intervention, age, complications, and prosthetic retention was obtained. Representative case reports are presented, in addition. Nineteen studies met inclusion: 294 orbits in 266 patients were treated. Two studies reported distraction-osteogenesis. Two studies utilized bone grafting. Osteotomies were performed in 41 patients from three studies. Use of solid implants was detailed in two studies. Three studies described osmotic implant. Four studies described inflatable implants. Other techniques were described by three of the included studies, two of which utilized dermis-fat grafting. All but one study were observational case reports or case series. Across all studies regardless of surgical technique, risk of bias and heterogeneity was high due to attrition bias and selective outcomes-reporting. Selection of therapy should be tailored to skeletal-age to optimize outcomes; those 0–4 yrs are managed with dermis-fat grafts, 5–7 yrs managed with implants, and 8+ yrs managed with osteotomies. For those 8+ yrs with aerated frontal sinuses or insufficient bone stock, we propose onlay camouflage prosthetics which improve projection, increase orbital volume, and avoid risk for frontal sinus injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-406
Number of pages10
JournalOrbit (London)
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Anophthalmia
  • microorbitism
  • orbital reconstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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