Developments in Craniomaxillofacial Surgery: Use of Self-Reinforced Bioabsorbable Osteofixation Devices

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Because of the problems associated with the conventional osteofixation devices used in craniomaxillofacial surgery, absorbable devices present an appealing alternative. Devices made of the polymers polylactide, polyglycolide, and their copolymers (PLGA and P[L/DL]LA) are currently the most commonly used. Ultrahigh-strength implants can be manufactured from these polymers with the self-reinforcing technique. Over the authors' almost two decades of study, both in experimental and clinical settings, self-reinforced devices have proved to be biocompatible, easy to handle, and mechanically strong, even for the fixation of femoral neck fractures. In craniomaxillofacial surgery, the authors have used self-reinforced devices for over 8 years without complications. Because of the more favored degradation characteristics, currently the copolymeric self-reinforced devices (P[L/DL]LA, Biosorb FX and PLGA, Biosorb PDX; Elite Performance Technologies, Solana Beach, Calif.) represent the advancing front in the application of absorbable devices in craniomaxillofacial surgery. The authors' share their experience and their studies of self-reinforced devices, which possess the highest strength and ductility of all bioabsorbable products. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 108: 167, 2001.)

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