Ossiculoplasty in young children with the Applebaum incudostapedial joint prosthesis

E L Schwetschenau, G Isaacson
Laryngoscope 1999, 109 (10): 1621-5

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the performance of the Applebaum incudostapedial joint prosthesis in young children in terms of hearing results and long-term stability despite continuing eustachian tube dysfunction and otitis media.

STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective review of all Applebaum prostheses placed in children at our institution from June 1993 to June 1998.

RESULTS: In 1993 Applebaum proposed the use of a hydroxylapatite ossicular prosthesis as an alternative to incus interposition for the repair of incudostapedial discontinuity. We have used this prosthesis exclusively for the repair of such defects in children over the past 5 years. Among 12 operated ears, all healed, all prostheses remain in place (average duration, 2.6 y), and all children have excellent hearing (mean air-bone gap, 15 dB; range, 5-25 dB).

CONCLUSIONS: The Applebaum incudostapedial joint prosthesis restores conductive hearing even in young children. It has been stable in the face of recurrent otitis media and has not interfered with revision surgery. Placement of the prosthesis at primary cholesteatoma surgery should be considered in children.

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