Journal of cranio-maxillo-facial surgery vol:22 issue:6 pages:330-334
Osteoradionecrosis (ORN) of the mandible is a serious sequel to radiotherapy administered for malignant neoplasms of the head and neck. In a retrospective/prospective study, 28 patients with mandibular defects due to ORN were reviewed. Monocortical and bicortical defects as well as pathological fractures were reconstructed by means of a free serratus anterior/rib (n = 8) or a vascularised iliac crest flap (n = 25). All the former survived; a pathological fracture, however, occurred postoperatively in 2 of the patients (25%). Five iliac crests were lost (20%). The remaining bone struts healed well. The donor site morbidity was very low. Clinical and radiological longterm follow-up showed that a very acceptable functional and cosmetic result was achieved in all cases. Progress of ORN was prevented in ca. 90% of all patients. The radiological follow-up was facilitated with the use of high-resolution CT-scans.