Surgical Management of Bilateral Osteoradionecrosis of the Mandible

J Craniofac Surg. 2022 Jan-Feb;33(1):e39-e43. doi: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000007906.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate our 10 years clinical experience in surgical management of patients with bilateral osteoradionecrosis (BORN) of the mandible in head and neck malignancies patients.

Materials and methods: The authors reviewed 22 patients with bilateral mandibular bone mineral density changed in image who had failed to respond to conservative treatments. They were treated by radical resection and reconstruction with free flaps immediately or second-stage at our institution between January 2008 and January 2018.

Results: Nine patients received immediate bilateral mandibular radical resection. Six bone flaps (4 fibula osteocutaneous [fibular OC], 1 fibular OC + pectoralis major myocutaneous flap [PMMF] and 1 fibular OC + anterolateral thigh flap [ALTF]) and 3 soft flaps (1 PMMF, 1 PMMF + titanium plate and 1 ALTF) were used. Three (33.3%) of these patients complications occurred in the immediate postoperative period, but all patients have an acceptable follow-up outcomes. In remaining 13 patients who only experienced immediate unilateral mandible resection for the first time. Complications occurred in 1 patient (7.7%), and all patients have a good outcome in the immediate postoperative period. In follow-up, 1 patient titanium plate exposed, and 6 patients (46.2%) contralateral mandible ORN developed that underwent radical resection in second time. Three fibular OC, 2 PMMF, and 1 latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flap were used. The overall outcome of our experience with the use of bone or soft tissue transfers in managing BORN of mandible is encouraging.

Conclusions: An individualized management plan should be given for each patient depending on their own local and general condition. Radical resection followed by vascularized flaps reconstruction is an acceptable and reliable procedure for patients with BORN of the mandible.

MeSH terms

  • Fibula / surgery
  • Free Tissue Flaps*
  • Humans
  • Mandible / surgery
  • Osteoradionecrosis* / surgery
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures*
  • Retrospective Studies