Background. The outcome of patients undergoing rigid plate fixation of symphyseal mandibular osteotomies for exposure, resection, and reconstruction of tumors in the oral cavity or oropharynx was analyzed to determine the impact of hardware selection on complications. Methods. Forty-five patients underwent titanium plate rigid internal fixation of mandibular osteotomies during cancer resection and free flap reconstruction at an academic medical center. The incidence of hardware-related complications and mandibular nonunion was compared in patients receiving either locking hardware or nonlocking hardware. Results. The incidence of osteotomy-related complications in patients with an inferior border nonlocking mandibular fracture plate was 21%. In the patients with locking hardware or an inferior border nonlocking mandibular fracture plate combined with a tension band, there were no hardware-related complications and no mandibular nonunions. This difference was statistically significant (χ2 = 6.01, p <.05). Conclusions. Locking mandibular reconstruction plates are associated with fewer complications than inferior border nonlocking mandibular fracture plates for rigid fixation of mandibular osteotomies in patients undergoing resection of head and neck cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas