JOURNAL ARTICLE

The fate of titanium miniplates and screws used in maxillofacial surgery: a 10 year retrospective study

J O'Connell, C Murphy, O Ikeagwuani, C Adley, G Kearns
International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 2009, 38 (7): 731-5
19303742
The objective of this 10 year, retrospective study is to evaluate the indications for the removal of titanium miniplates following osteosynthesis in maxillofacial trauma and orthognathic surgery. All patients who had miniplates placed in a Regional Oral and Maxillofacial Department between January 1998 and October 2007 were included. The following variables were recorded: patient gender and age, number of plates inserted, indications for plate placement, location of plates, number and location of plates removed, indications for plate removal, time between insertion and removal, medical co-morbidities, and the follow-up period. During the 10 years of the study, 1247 titanium miniplates were placed in 535 patients. A total of 32 (3%) plates were removed from 30 patients. Superficial infection accounted for 41% of all plates removed. All complications were minor and most plates were removed within the first year of insertion. A low removal rate of 3% suggests that the routine removal of asymptomatic titanium miniplates is not indicated.

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