Osteoradionecrosis of the mandible: a review

Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2013 Dec;17(4):243-9. doi: 10.1007/s10006-012-0363-4. Epub 2012 Sep 28.


Background: Osteoradionecrosis is a serious complication of radiotherapy that often leads to severe facial deformity, pain, pathological fracture, sequestration of devitalized bone, and orocutaneous fistulas. Preventive measures for osteoradionecrosis are the best treatment plan to avoid osteoradionecrosis. Radical surgery is indicated when conservative methods fail or when severe bone and soft-tissue necrosis prevails.

Case report: The purpose of this paper is to explore the recent theories about the definition, classification, incidence, and pathophysiology of osteoradionecrosis (ORN) of the jaws. The predisposing and risk factors for the development of osteoradionecrosis based on the literature review along with case report are also discussed.

Discussion: A better understanding on the risk factors responsible for causing ORN and the underlying pathophysiology may improve our ability to prevent this complication and help to improve the prognosis for those being treated for osteoradionecrosis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bone Plates
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / therapy
  • Causality
  • Cheek
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Fractures, Spontaneous / diagnosis
  • Fractures, Spontaneous / epidemiology
  • Fractures, Spontaneous / physiopathology
  • Fractures, Spontaneous / surgery
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mandibular Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Mandibular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Mandibular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Mandibular Diseases / surgery*
  • Mandibular Fractures / diagnosis
  • Mandibular Fractures / epidemiology
  • Mandibular Fractures / physiopathology
  • Mandibular Fractures / surgery
  • Mandibular Reconstruction / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth Neoplasms / therapy
  • Osteoradionecrosis / diagnosis*
  • Osteoradionecrosis / epidemiology
  • Osteoradionecrosis / physiopathology
  • Osteoradionecrosis / surgery*
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant / adverse effects
  • Risk Factors