Free fibula flap in the reconstruction of mandible: a report of six cases

J Maxillofac Oral Surg. 2009 Sep;8(3):275-8. doi: 10.1007/s12663-009-0067-y. Epub 2009 Nov 21.


The defects secondary to surgical ablation of the mandible have far reaching consequences. Speech, respiration, mastication, deglutition and cosmesis are severely affected. Restoring these functions is a challenging task. Till the late eighties, myocutaneous flaps were the rule for mandibular reconstruction and free bone was used to restore bony continuity.In spite of the result being predictable the outcome left much to be desired. There was also a fairly regular crop of complications. Acceptable dental rehabilitation was almost non-existent. With the introduction of free flaps as a consequence of the development of the operating microscope, the field of reconstruction was revolutionized.The fibular free flap is especially suited for mandibular reconstruction. It provides adequate bone to re-establish bony continuity and also allows for the placement of osseointegrated implants.Here we present six of our cases, which underwent mandibular reconstruction with free fibula flaps and the current thoughts in literature on the reconstruction of the mandible with this technique.

Keywords: Fibula; Free flaps; Mandible; Reconstruction.