[Skip to Navigation]
February 1997

Factors Involved in Long- and Short-term Mandibular Plate Exposure

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology, Comprehensive Cancer Center Head and Neck Oncology Program (Drs Nicholson, Schuller, Forrest, Mountain, and Ali), and Biostatistics Unit, Comprehensive Cancer Center (Dr Young), Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Research Institute, Ohio State University, Columbus.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1997;123(2):217-222. doi:10.1001/archotol.1997.01900020107016

Objectives:  To evaluate and to compare rates and timing of exposure of alloplastic mandibular plates by plate type and tissue reconstruction technique.

Design:  A retrospective review series of 92 consecutive patients for 4 years (mean follow-up, 30 months).

Setting:  National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in a freestanding cancer hospital.

Patients:  Seventy-nine patients received alloplastic mandibular plates for segmental defects, and 13 patients received compression plates for mandibular osteotomies following ablative cancer surgery, including 21 titanium hollow osseointegrating reconstruction, 41 Storz, 16 Synthes, and 5 AO/ASIF (Arbeitsgemein schott fur Ostcosynthese fragen/Association for the Study of Internal Fixation) plates. Primary flap repair was provided by 71 pedicled soft tissue and 19 osseocutaneous free flaps, with primary closure in the remaining 2.

Intervention:  Most of the reconstructions of the mandibular defect was with an alloplastic plate with musculocutaneous flap or revascularized bone graft.

Outcome Measures:  Clinically apparent intraoral or extraoral plate exposure.

Results:  Plate exposure occurred in 25 cases. Nine plates were exposed extraorally, at a mean postoperative interval of 40 weeks. The remaining 16 plates were exposed intraorally at a mean postoperative interval of 16 weeks. There was no significant difference in the exposure rates of different plate types or methods of reconstruction. The titanium hollow osseointegrating reconstruction plate had a similar exposure rate compared with the other plates. Size and site of the defect were the only significant predictors of plate exposure. Radiotherapy and postoperative complications did not affect the rate of exposure.

Conclusions:  Extraoral plate exposure occurs less commonly and later in the postoperative period than intraoral exposure, suggesting different causes. Plate type and type of flap reconstruction do not affect the rate of exposure. This may reflect long follow-up.Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1997;123:217-222

Add or change institution