Fixation effects on membranous and endochondral onlay bone-graft resorption

Plast Reconstr Surg. 1988 Nov;82(5):872-7. doi: 10.1097/00006534-198811000-00023.


Difficulties arise in the prediction of maintenance of graft volume over time when bone grafts are used for facial contour reconstruction. We hypothesize that graft fixation will decrease movement and lead to decreased resorption. Fixed and nonfixed endochondral (rib) and membranous (skull) onlay bone grafts measuring 30 X 10 X 4 mm were grafted to the mandible bilaterally in 10 adult sheep. Fixation was achieved using the lag-screw technique. Volume measurements using caliper technique were made 20 weeks postoperatively. The volume of graft present at 20 weeks was significantly greater for the fixed bone grafts (p less than 0.001): fixed membranous, 85.9 percent; fixed endochondral, 76.2 percent; nonfixed membranous, 55 percent; and nonfixed endochondral, 16.6 percent. The results are explained using biomechanical theories related to the effects of strain. At present, it is suggested by this study that when onlay bone grafts are stabilized, improved results with respect to graft resorption can be expected.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Resorption*
  • Bone Screws*
  • Graft Survival*
  • Mandible / metabolism
  • Mandible / physiology
  • Mandible / surgery*
  • Models, Anatomic
  • Movement
  • Ribs / metabolism
  • Ribs / transplantation*
  • Sheep
  • Skull / metabolism
  • Skull / transplantation*