• Users Online: 73
  • Print this page
  • Email this page

Table of Contents
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 87-90

Congenital deficiency of the medial crus

Department of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, SBU Sultan Abdulhamid Han Training and Research Hospital, Uskudar, Istanbul, Turkey

Date of Web Publication27-Mar-2019

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Oguz Kayiran
Department of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, SBU Sultan Abdulhamid Han Training and Research Hospital, Tibbiye Cd, Selimiye Mah, Uskudar, Istanbul
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/tjps.tjps_74_18

Get Permissions


Congenital deficiency of lower lateral cartilages is rarely observed. Moreover, congenital lack of medial and/or lateral crus is extremely rare. Here, a case having nasal tip asymmetry with lack of nasal tip support, hence, the atrophy of medial crus is presented. Reconstruction of the medial crus was appropriately established with a septal cartilage graft. Supportive grafts were also used to enforce the tip and columella. The patient was extremely satisfied from the surgery. The practitioners must be aware of the deformities and deficiencies of the nasal cartilages as well as suitable reconstructions.

Keywords: Alar cartilages, congenital, medial crura, nasal deformities

How to cite this article:
Tunc S, Kayiran O. Congenital deficiency of the medial crus. Turk J Plast Surg 2019;27:87-90

How to cite this URL:
Tunc S, Kayiran O. Congenital deficiency of the medial crus. Turk J Plast Surg [serial online] 2019 [cited 2022 Sep 27];27:87-90. Available from: http://www.turkjplastsurg.org/text.asp?2019/27/2/87/255014

  Introduction Top

Deformities of the alar cartilage may be due to trauma, surgery, or congenital. Congenital deficiency of lower lateral cartilages is rarely observed; hence, lack of medial and/or lateral crus is extremely rare. A thorough examination with appropriate preoperative planning before definitive surgery is crucial for an upmost success. Here, a case having nasal tip asymmetry with lack of nasal tip support, hence, the atrophy of medial crus is presented.

  Case Report Top

A 41-year-old female patient applied to our outpatient clinic for rhinoplasty. She did not have any antecedent trauma or surgery. Her medical history, condition, and laboratory were entirely uneventful. At the examination, the tip of the nose was asymmetrical, and the projection was insufficient. Slight droopy nose and a hanging columella were noted [Figure 1]a, [Figure 1]b, [Figure 1]c, [Figure 1]d. There was an S-shaped septal deviation; however, inner valve angles were over 15°, bilaterally. Informed consent of the patient was taken before surgery.
Figure 1: Preoperative (upper row) and postoperative (lower row) photos of the patient (a). Lateral side showing lack of nasal tip support, (b) Front gaze with nasal base asymmetry, (c) Upper view demonstrating nasal tip asymmetry with a slight deviation to the right side, (d) Lower view with asymmetrical nostril shape and sizes including lack of columellar support, (e) Tip support and appropriate nasolabial angle were satisfactorily established, (f) Front gaze with a sufficient reconstruction, (g) Upper view showing appropriate illumination and shadowing, (h) Tip support, symmetrical nostril size and shapes, and columellar reconstruction are achieved satisfactorily at the midline

Click here to view

The operation was carried out under general anesthesia. The open technique was used. Intraoperatively, the right middle crural cartilage was lacking [Figure 2]a. In order to provide type support and symmetry, cartilage graft from the septal cartilage was used to enforce the right middle crural cartilage. In addition, strut grafts were used to support the columella and tip of the nose [Figure 2]b. Hopefully, the intraoperative result showed a remarkable and satisfactory outcome, even immediately [Figure 2]c and [Figure 2]d.
Figure 2: (a) Intraoperative view clearly demonstrating the lack of right middle crura from the dome, (b) Immediate reconstruction of the middle crura with septal cartilage, (c) Immediate view from the lateral side, (d) Absolute symmetry is immediately achieved

Click here to view

The pre- and post-operative markings were made through a computer program from the radix to the tip of the nose (a), from the tip of the nose to the alar groove (b), from the radix to the most inferior point of columella (c,) from the most anterior point of the nostril to the alar groove (d), and from the most posterior point of the nostril to the alar groove (e) at the lateral side view [Figure 3].
Figure 3: The schematic representation of the nose from the lateral side view. ((A) from the radix to the tip of the nose, (b) from the tip of the nose to the alar groove, (C) from the radix to the most inferior point of columella, (D) from the most anterior point of the nostril to the alar groove, (E) from the most posterior point of the nostril to the alar groove)

Click here to view

The ratio of A/B, A/C, B/D, B/E was calculated pre- and post-operatively. The comparisons were made among pre- and post-operative values. In addition, nasofrontal and nasolabial angles were measured pre- and post-operatively.

Postoperative ratios were significantly improved when compared to the preoperative equivalents. Preoperative nasofrontal and nasolabial angles were at 150° and 72° as well as postoperative values at 140° and 96°, respectively. These angles were remarkably transposed to the desired values [Table 1].
Table 1: Preoperative values were compared with the postoperative equivalents

Click here to view

Eventually, the patient was extremely satisfied from the outcome [Figure 1]e, [Figure 1]f, [Figure 1]g, [Figure 1]h.

  Discussion Top

Conventionally, the alar cartilages were divided into medial and lateral cartilages;[1] however, it was not until 1987 where middle crus was described that linked to various aesthetic problems ensuring applicable reconstructions as well.[2] Tebbetts emphasized the columellar breakpoint and the linkage between the medial and middle crus.[3]

Successful rhinoplasty depends on a thorough preoperative evaluation. Sometimes, additional imaging studies may help the practitioner think of possible problems in the airway and/or outer nasal frames. However, it is crucial to know and understand the embryological development and the relevant anatomical structures of the nose to define the deformities and ensure an appropriate solution. Thus, an ecstatic rhinoplasty relies on the nasal tip support and projection, adequate interconnections between upper and lower lateral cartilages as well as lateral crus of the lower lateral cartilages and medial crural attachments of the caudal septum.[4] In addition, the well-constructed transition from each anatomical unit to another is crucial to reach an acceptable appearance and a functional recovery. Laterally and anteriorly, ideal proportions between columella and ala of the nose were classified, and the discrepancies with the appropriate corrections were presented.[5]

It is important to maintain and/or establish the stabilization between the medial crus and caudal septum to prevent a ptotic, underprojected nasal tip, acute nasolabial angle, and/or retracted columella.[6] The lateral crus plays an important function in defining the shape of the ala and providing support to the external nasal valve. The medial crus is composed of a footplate and a columellar segment and has an important function in nasal tip projection and support.[7],[8] Natvig et al. revealed three anatomical variations of the medial crura: Type 1 (asymmetric parallel – 75%), Type 2 (flared symmetric – 12.5%), and Type 3 (straight symmetric – 12.5%).[9]

The prevalence of nasal anomalies ranges from 1 in 20,000 to 40,000 live births. Losee et al. classified nasal anomalies into four categories such as hypoplasia and atrophy, hyperplasia and duplications, clefts, and neoplasms and vascular anomalies.[10] Nasal cartilaginous deficiencies give arise from disruptions during the embryonic period when the nasal structures are specified. Embryonic cartilaginous fusion and growth occur with two facial prominences, the median nasal and lateral nasal prominences. The median nasal prominence gives rise to midline structures, including the vomer and nasal septum, the medial and inferior portions of the nostril, the philtrum, and the primary palate.

Review of the literature revealed congenital deficiencies of the alar cartilages are very rare. Some deficiencies may be obvious at birth such as columellar absence and/or cleft notch of the alar rim, while some may be distinguished with time.[11],[12] In a single previous case report, an isolated congenital absence of the lateral crura was presented with a primary complaint of nasal obstruction.[13] In another study, eight patients with medial crural deficiencies were presented with five patients as bilateral and three as unilateral. The only underlying anatomical problem had been tip or nostril asymmetry which was solved with cosmetic rhinoplasty. In this study, the medial crus deformities were comprised of four divisions, three gaps and one segmental loss.[14] In our case report, unlike others, there was a complete loss of right medial crus of the lower lateral cartilage.

  Conclusion Top

Nasal tip surgery is considered a challenging operation. This is primarily due to the variable anatomy of the nose. The columella has been described as the “central scaffold on which adjacent structures retain support and balance.” For this reason, a columellar strut graft is often preferred to establish a support for the lower lateral cartilages.[4],[15] Surgeons must have a thorough knowledge about the entire anatomy of nasal cartilages and be aware of possible deformities, even faced surprisingly in the operative period, to deal with the deformities meticulously. Nevertheless, examination of the entire area and anticipation of possible deformities as well as appropriate planning preoperatively will ensure a planned outcome and overcome an unwilling result.

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form the patient(s) has/have given his/her/their consent for his/her/their images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patients understand that their names and initials will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal their identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.


The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Gunter JP. Anatomical observations of the lower lateral cartilages. Arch Otolaryngol 1969;89:599-601.  Back to cited text no. 1
Sheen JH, Sheen AP. Aesthetic Rhinoplasty. 2nd ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby; 1987.  Back to cited text no. 2
Tebbetts JB. Primary Rhinoplasty: A New Approach to the Logic and Techniques. St. Louis, MO: Mosby; 1998.  Back to cited text no. 3
Patel KB, Mendonca DA, Skolnick G, Woo AS. Anatomical study of the medial crura and the effect on nasal tip projection in open rhinoplasty. Plast Reconstr Surg 2013;132:787-93.  Back to cited text no. 4
Gunter JP, Rohrich RJ, Friedman RM. Classification and correction of alar-columellar discrepancies in rhinoplasty. Plast Reconstr Surg 1996;97:643-8.  Back to cited text no. 5
Toriumi DM. Structure concept in nasal tip surgery. Oper Tech Plast Reconstr Surg 2000;7:175-86.  Back to cited text no. 6
Johnson CM Jr., Todumi DM. Open Structure Rhinoplasty. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 1990.  Back to cited text no. 7
Oneal RM, Beil RJ. Surgical anatomy of the nose. Clin Plast Surg 2010;37:191-211.  Back to cited text no. 8
Natvig P, Sether LA, Gingrass RP, Gardner WD. Anatomical details of the osseous-cartilaginous framework of the nose. Plast Reconstr Surg 1971;48:528-32.  Back to cited text no. 9
Losee JE, Kirschner RE, Whitaker LA, Bartlett SP. Congenital nasal anomalies: A classification scheme. Plast Reconstr Surg 2004;113:676-89.  Back to cited text no. 10
Jacobs KF. Congenital aplasia of the nasal columella and cartilaginous septum. Laryngol Rhinol Otol (Stuttg) 1984;63:344-6.  Back to cited text no. 11
Lewin ML. Congenital absence of the nasal columella. Cleft Palate J 1988;25:58-63.  Back to cited text no. 12
Adelson RT, Karimi K, Herrero N. Isolated congenital absence of the left lower lateral cartilage. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2008;138:793-4.  Back to cited text no. 13
Kosins AM, Daniel RK, Sajjadian A, Helms J. Rhinoplasty: Congenital deficiencies of the alar cartilage. Aesthet Surg J 2013;33:799-808.  Back to cited text no. 14
Rohrich RJ, Kurkjian TJ, Hoxworth RE, Stephan PJ, Mojallal A. The effect of the columellar strut graft on nasal tip position in primary rhinoplasty. Plast Reconstr Surg 2012;130:926-32.  Back to cited text no. 15


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]

  [Table 1]

This article has been cited by
1 A Rare Case of Isolated Congenital Aplasia of Right Lower Lateral Cartilage with Its Aesthetic Correction andLiterature Review
June Kim,Sayali Shiras
Indian Journal of Otolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery. 2020;
[Pubmed] | [DOI]


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article
Case Report
Article Figures
Article Tables

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded315    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 1    

Recommend this journal