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Malleus-to-footplate prosthetic interposition: experience with 265 patients

V Colletti, F G Fiorino
Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery 1999, 120 (3): 437-44
Absence of the long process of the incus with or without absence of the stapes head accounts for more than 80% of ossicular discontinuities. Total or partial replacement prostheses, made of various materials, are interposed to restore the transfer function of the middle ear. To simplify ossicular reconstruction, reduce operative times and costs, improve functional outcomes, and avoid the risk of infections, we have adopted, during the past 10 years, a technique that makes use of a personally designed alloplastic prosthetic device. The prosthesis connects the malleus to the footplate, even in the presence of the stapes superstructure. This malleus-to-footplate prosthesis consists in a plastipore-coated steel piston and hydroxyapatite head, complete with a groove. The groove is placed beneath the malleus neck after dissection of the tensor tympani tendon and the shaft of the piston on the footplate. Two hundred ninety primary ossiculoplasties with the malleus-to-footplate prostheses were performed in 265 patients from 1986 to 1995 in the ENT Department of the University of Verona. The average postoperative air-bone gap at 0.5 to 3 kHz was 11 dB at 1 year and 14 dB at 5 years. These outcomes are significantly better than those personally obtained previously with ossicular or alloplastic prostheses. No extrusions occurred. The structural characteristics of the malleus-to-foot-plate prosthesis endow the prosthesis with a high degree of biocompatibility and stability and optimal sound-transfer function. The rationale for this particular ossiculoplasty procedure is discussed.

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