Objective: To identify the incidence of hardware and bone-healing complications in patients who underwent locking mandibular reconstruction plate (LMRP) fixation of vascularized bone grafts for reconstruction of segmental mandibular defects.
Design: Case series.
Setting: Academic tertiary care medical center.
Patients: One hundred one patients who had undergone LMRP fixation of vascularized bone grafts for reconstruction of segmental mandibular defects with a minimum follow-up of 6 months.
Main outcome measures: Association of patient- and defect-related characteristics with the incidence of loose screws, osteosynthesis nonunion, and complications necessitating hardware removal.
Results: The incidence of loose screws was 0.8% in 984 locking screws implanted. The incidence of nonunion was 0.7% in 290 osteosyntheses. Overall, 15 of 101 LMRPs (14.8%) were removed because of hardware-related complications, with plate extrusion (n = 10) the most common complication necessitating hardware removal. Pathologic diagnosis (P = .002), previous treatment with hyperbaric oxygen (P < .001), radiation therapy (P < .001), and cancer recurrence (P = .03) were statistically significant predictors of LMRP-related complications at univariate analysis. At multivariate analysis, previous treatment with hyperbaric oxygen (P < .046) remained a statistically significant predictor of LMRP-related complications.
Conclusions: In patients undergoing mandibular reconstruction, LMRPs are highly effective for fixation of vascularized bone grafts, with a high incidence of bone-graft healing and a low incidence of complications related to loose screws. Nevertheless, there remains a 15% incidence of hardware-related complications, most related to hardware extrusion. Previous treatment with hyperbaric oxygen is a statistically significant predictor of LMRP-related complications.