Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders


Date of this Version



Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 2012 September ; 49(5): 524–529.


© Copyright 2012 American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association


Objective—To measure and compare the perioral stiffness among three groups of pediatric subjects: a group of patients with a repaired cleft lip (and palate) who had a secondary lip revision surgery (revision), another group of patients with repaired cleft lip (and palate) who did not have secondary surgery (nonrevision), and a group of noncleft “normal” patients (noncleft).

Design—A parallel, three-group, nonrandomized clinical trial.

Participants—A total of 16 patients with repaired cleft lip/palate who did not have lip revision, 13 patients with repaired cleft lip/palate who had lip revision surgery and were tested at 18 to 24 months postsurgery, and 27 noncleft patients.

Analysis—Nonparticipatory perioral stiffness was sampled using a recently developed facereferenced measurement technology known as OroSTIFF. Perioral stiffness, derived as a quotient from resultant force and interangle lip span, was modeled with multilevel regression techniques. Real-time calculation of the perioral stiffness function demonstrated a significant quadratic relation between imposed interangle stretch and resultant force for each of the three groups.

Results—This nonlinear stiffness growth function was significantly elevated in the nonrevision patients compared with the noncleft controls and is likely due to the presence of scar tissue in the upper lip; it was significantly lower among patients with cleft lip/palate who completed lip revision surgery.

Conclusion—This study demonstrates the efficacy of applying an objective measurement to map differences in perioral tissue biomechanics among patients born with orofacial clefts.