Non-surgical treatment It is suggested that increased maternal oestrogen levels in the neonate keeps the cartilage malleable, and that as levels drop after 72 h, the cartilage becomes less malleable. There are reports that splintage within this early window may be effective (Matsuo et al. 1989), particularly for Stahl bars (Aki et al. 2000), although the results are not wholly conclusive. There are practical issues as the splintage system needs to be used over several months, taking particular care with pressure points.