Fixation of mandibular fractures with biodegradable plates and screws

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Objective.Little data exist regarding the use of biodegradable plates and screws for the internal fixation of human mandibular fractures. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the stability of biodegradable, self-reinforced poly-L-lactide plates and screws for the internal fixation of fractures of the human mandible.Study Design.Twenty-two individuals (14 male, 8 female; average age, 26.3 years) with a variety of fracture patterns of the mandible underwent management with a biodegradable fixation system. After surgery, maxillomandibular fixation was applied in 3 cases. Images (panoramic radiograph, computed tomographic scan) were taken immediately after surgery and at the 4-week, 8-week, 12-week, and 24-week intervals. The follow-up period averaged 49.1 weeks (range, 22 to 78 weeks).Results.Mucosal dehiscences over the resorbable devices were present in 2 patients. In 1 of these 2 cases, the material had to be replaced with titanium plates. Mucosal healing and consolidation of the fracture were normal in all other patients.Conclusion.Self-reinforced biodegradable osteosynthesis materials provide a reliable and sufficient alternative to conventional titanium plate systems.

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