Osteoradionecrosis of the mandible poses formidable problems for treatment. In the last 6 years, the fibula osteoseptocutaneous free flap was used in 12 cases to replace mandibles with radionecrotic damage. The presence of a pathologic fracture, exposed necrotic bone, or a persistent fistula not responding to conservative treatment were the indications for such a radical approach. Mandible defects after resection were around 8.0 cm long, and in all cases intraoral mucosa, skin, or both were included with the bone excision. All vascularized fibula osteoseptocutaneous flaps transplanted were successful with good primary bone healing. Adequate facial symmetry and improvement in oral function was achieved. No evidence of osteoradionecrosis recurrence was observed after a mean follow-up period of 3 years and 9 months.
The advantages of using the fibula osteoseptocutaneous flap for mandible reconstruction are numerous, and good aesthetic and functional results can be obtained when it is used for reconstruction after radical excision of osteoradionecrotic lesions.