Nonunion of the mandible after microvascular flap reconstruction of defects resulting from tumor surgery is a known but rare complication, occurring in 5% of cases. When nonunion results with the use of microvascular flaps, rigid internal fixation, and radiotherapy, other options to treat the nonunion carry a greater risk of osteomyelitis, osteoradionecrosis, and/or persistent nonunion. Although endosseous implants have been reported to cause mandibular fracture in some cases, our case proposes and supports the use of implants for immobilization and/or prevention of nonunion of the mandible in patients who have a high probability of this complication developing, thereby avoiding plating across the nonunion site with the risk of plate exposure and osteoradionecrosis. This technique permitted a good quality of life in our patient during the healing period. He was able to masticate and phonate properly when compared with other treatment options that would have required external and/or intermaxillary fixation devices.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Oral Surgery