Use of the AO plate for immediate mandibular reconstruction in cancer patients

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
M A SchustermanM E Weldon

Abstract

Free vascularized bone grafts have revolutionized mandibular reconstruction, yet their use in all mandibulectomy patients is not always necessary. A recently developed alternative to bony reconstruction has been the use of the AO reconstruction plate. We compared the use of the AO reconstruction plate with immediate free bone graft mandibular reconstruction in 31 patients. Reconstruction plates were used in 20 and immediate free bone grafts were used in 11 patients. The overall success rate for use of the plate was 15 of 20 (75 percent). There were 6 anterior reconstructions, of which only 2 (33 percent) were successful. This is opposed to 13 of 14 (93 percent) lateral reconstructions that were successful in lateral plate placements. There were 11 immediate composite free flaps: 4 iliac crest, 4 scapula, 2 fibula, and 1 composite radial forearm flaps. Six repairs were for anterior defects, and there were 5 full-thickness defects, 3 of which were in the anterior position. All 11 flaps were successful. In conclusion, we believe the reconstruction plates are a useful adjunct for mandibular replacement in the head and neck cancer patient but should be reserved for lateral defects. For anterior reconstructions, even in patients with...Continue Reading

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