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Permanent Versus Bioresorbable Implants in Orbital Floor Blowout Fractures

Sophia Seen, Stephanie Ming Young, Shao Jin Teo, Stephanie S Lang, Shantha Amrith, Thiam-Chye Lim, Gangadhara Sundar
Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 2018 February 6

PURPOSE: To compare the outcomes of bioresorbable and permanent implants in the reconstruction of isolated orbital floor blowout fractures.

METHODS: Retrospective series of all patients who had orbital floor fracture repair in a single tertiary trauma center from January 2005 to December 2014. The authors reviewed the case notes and CT scans of patients with orbital floor fracture repair with either bioresorbable or permanent implants. Main outcome measures were enophthalmos, diplopia, and ocular motility restriction 1.5 years after fracture repair. Implant-related complications were collected for analysis.

RESULTS: There were a total of 88 patients in our study. Bioresorbable implants were used in 48 patients (54.5%) while 40 patients had permanent implants (45.5%). The authors analyzed the implants used in various sizes of orbital fractures: small (<13.3 mm), medium (13.3-20 mm), and large (>20 mm). One and a half years after fracture repair, both groups had comparable clinical outcomes (n = 2 and n = 0 for diplopia for permanent and bioresorbable implant groups, respectively, n = 0 for enophthalmos for both groups and n = 1 for ocular motility limitation for both groups) overall and across all fracture sizes.

CONCLUSION: Bioresorbable implants degrade after fracture healing through hydrolysis and promote the gradual transfer of functional forces to healing bone during its disintegration. The clinical outcomes of diplopia, enophthalmos, and ocular motility restriction associated with the use of resorbable implants are comparable to that of permanent implants for all fracture sizes. Their study shows that bioresorbable and permanent implants are equally safe and effective for the treatment of patients with isolated orbital floor blowout fractures.

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