Pneumatic retinopexy is advocated to treat some retinal detachment cases, in part to avoid the complication of induced strabismus sometimes associated with scleral buckling procedures (SBPs). Prospective evaluation of postoperative muscle imbalance was performed in 76 eyes of 69 patients undergoing SBP. Measureable limitation of ductions occurred in 40 (73%) of the 55 eyes for which a full set of duction measurements could be obtained. Among 53 patients without previous retinal surgery in either eye, postoperative deviations were associated with encircling scleral buckles (P = 0.00003), but not with radial scleral buckles (P = 0.6). Significant strabismus occurred in 12 patients (23%), and three required surgery or prism therapy. Candidates for pneumatic retinopexy can usually be treated by a radial scleral buckling procedure, and therefore the risk of postoperative strabismus is low if this technique is selected.
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