Arch Craniofac Surg.  2019 Oct;20(5):297-303. 10.7181/acfs.2019.00409.

Clinical courses and degradation patterns of absorbable plates in facial bone fracture patients

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Nowon Eulji Medical Center, Eulji University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. joaljh@eulji.ac.kr

Abstract

BACKGROUND
Absorbable plates are widely used in open reduction and internal fixation surgeries for facial bone fractures. Absorbable plates are made of polyglycolic acid (PGA), polylactic acid (PLA), polydioxane (PDS), or various combinations of these polymers. The degradation patterns of absorbable plates made from different polymers and clinical courses of patients treated with such plates have not been fully identified. This study aimed to confirm the clinical courses of facial bone fracture patients using absorbable plates and compare the degradation patterns of the plates.
METHODS
A retrospective chart review was conducted for 47 cases in 46 patients who underwent open reduction and internal fixation surgery using absorbable plates to repair facial bone fractures. All surgeries used either PLA/PGA composite-based or poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA)/hydroxyapatite (HA) composite-based absorbable plates and screws. Clinical courses were confirmed and comparisons were conducted based on direct observation.
RESULTS
There were no naturally occurring foreign body reactions. Post-traumatic inflammatory responses occurred in eight patients (nine cases), in which six recovered naturally with conservative treatment. The absorbable plates were removed from two patients. PLA/PGA composite-based absorbable plates degraded into fragments with non-uniform, sharp surfaces whereas PLLA/HA composite-based absorbable plates degraded into a soft powder.
CONCLUSION
PLA/PGA composite-based and PLLA/HA composite-based absorbable plates showed no naturally occurring foreign body reactions and showed different degradation patterns. The absorbable plate used for facial bone fracture surgery needs to be selected in consideration of its degradation patterns.

Keyword

Absorbable implants; Bone plates; Fractures; Hydroxyapatites; Polyglycolic acid

MeSH Terms

Absorbable Implants
Bone Plates
Facial Bones*
Foreign Bodies
Humans
Hydroxyapatites
Polyglycolic Acid
Polymers
Retrospective Studies
Hydroxyapatites
Polyglycolic Acid
Polymers
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