Author(s): Murthy AS, Lehman JA Jr
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Abstract This study reviewed the fate of titanium plates used to correct maxillofacial trauma in 76 patients to define risk factors for plate removal. Medical records of 76 consecutive patients at a single institution, over a 10-year period, were retrospectively reviewed. Variables included age, sex, trauma type, diagnosis, fracture type, fracture diagnosis, plate location, surgical approach, and reasons for plate removal. Fracture diagnosis was described as panfacial (42\%), blowout (3\%), midface (28\%), zygoma (26\%), mandible angle (6\%), ramus (7\%), and symphysis (9\%). All plate removals according to fracture diagnosis were in the mandible angle (30\%) and symphysis (20\%). When plate location was reviewed, 68\% of the plates were placed in the upper and midface and 32\% were placed in the mandible. Specifically, plates were placed in the frontozygomatic suture (18\%), zygomaticomaxillary suture (19\%), infraorbital rim (14\%) and mandible symphysis (15\%), mandible angle (9\%), piriform (6\%), nasal (5\%), mandible ramus (4\%) and body (4\%), zygoma (2\%), and frontal (2\%). Of 163 plates that were placed, 6 plates (3.7\%) were removed. Three (12\%) of the symphysis plates and 3 (20\%) of the angle plates were removed. Among all variables, only fracture diagnosis (P = 0.01) and plate location (P = 0.01) were statistically significant in plate removal. Five plates were removed for abscess/infection; 1 plate was removed for osteomyelitis. Further review revealed that 4 out of 6 plates removed involved synchronous mandible fractures. Most infections after maxillofacial trauma occur in the mandible, and often these infections are the main reason for plate removal. More vigilance is needed in the treatment of mandible angle and symphyseal fractures, especially if there are synchronous fractures, to prevent infection, plate removal and subsequent malunion.
This article was published in Ann Plast Surg
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals