Mandibular Condyle Reconstruction With Fibula Free-Tissue Transfer: The Role of the Masseter Muscle

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Abstract

Background:

Free fibula flap is an option for primary restoration after disarticulation mandibular resection, though literature on technique refinements is scarce. The authors hypothesized that inset of the masseter, the key mandibular elevator muscle, at the reconstructed mandible may optimize functional recovery.

Methods:

All patients undergoing reconstruction of mandibulectomy–condylectomy defect (January 2009 to January 2014) by means of a fibular flap were prospectively studied. The neocondyle was formed by the distal portion of the fibula and placed directly into the glenoid fossa with preservation of the temporomandibular disc. The deep portion of the masseter was inset at the angle of the reconstructed mandible.

Methods:

Condylar position was postoperatively evaluated by panoramic radiographs. Patients self-evaluated speech, chewing, swallowing, and facial appearance.

Results:

Two patients had immediate and 3 delayed reconstruction involving condyle ramus body, in the study period. During a mean follow-up of 32 months, 4 patients had satisfactory occlusion, 1 patient had an open-bite deformity, but was able to masticate solid food and maintain an oral diet. Although no significant condyle dislocation was recorded, 2 patients had slight ipsilateral deviation on mouth opening. Nevertheless, cosmesis was satisfactory and all patients maintained intelligible speech. Functional score was 13.6 ± 1.14 and facial appearance score was 4 ± 0.7.

Conclusion:

The free fibula transfers with direct seating of the fibula into the condylar fossa followed by masseter muscle reinsertion provides acceptable functional reconstruction of the mandibulectomy–condylectomy defect.

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