Investigators have reported problems with metal plates and screws, including restriction of craniofacial growth necessitating secondary removal; bone resorption secondary to stress shielding; increased incidence of infection, extrusion, and palpability, especially in regions with minimal soft-tissue coverage; and interference with radiological studies and postoperative radiation therapy. Biodegradable rigid fixation can easily eliminate a majority of these problems because the material provides adequate fixation for a finite interval corresponding to bony repair. For this reason, there has been increasing interest in developing satisfactory biodegradable plate and screw systems. We tested a commercially developed polyglyconate plate and screw system to stabilize zygomatic osteotomies in a nonhuman primate model before embarking on clinical trials. In this experimental model, the stabilized segments revealed satisfactory alignment; in the control animals, the bony fragments became significantly displaced. This polyglyconate plate and screw system appears to have a promising role in the surgical correction of craniomaxillofacial deformities in humans, and clinical testing should commence.
- Biodegradable plates and screws
- Zygomatic osteotomies
ASJC Scopus subject areas