• To our knowledge, a histologic evaluation of bone healing after mandible reconstruction with vascularized human bone grafts has not been previously reported. Serial sections through both the decalcified graft and the junction between mandible and graft were evaluated in four patients who required surgical removal of their reconstructed mandibles. A failed scapular bone graft that had been wrapped within a pectoralis major myocutaneous flap for salvage following pedicle thrombosis showed markedly resorbed but viable bone with a fibrous union to the native mandible. Viable vascularized grafts without evidence of ongoing resorption characterized an iliac osteocutaneous bone graft and two scapula osteocutaneous grafts that healed with continuity of healthy bone between graft and mandible. Observations from the evaluation of these specimens are made regarding bone circulation, bone union, and bone graft survival as they occur clinically. Implications regarding the techniques of bone plating and indications for use of vascularized bone in mandible reconstruction are discussed.
(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1991;117:917-925)