Evaluation of osseointegration of endosseous implants in radiated, vascularized fibula flaps to the mandible. A pilot study

H. Dexter Barber, Robert J. Seckinger, Richard E. Hayden, Gregory S. Weinstein

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Purpose: This study clinically evaluated the osseointegration of implants placed into vascularized fibula flaps used in mandibular reconstruction of cancer patients following radiation treatment and subsequent hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy. Materials and Methods: Five head and neck cancer patients had mandibular resection and immediate reconstruction with a vascularized fibula flap. Subsequent therapy included greater than 50 Gy of radiation to the fibula flap over a 6 to 8-week period. Two to 6 weeks following radiation therapy each patient received 20 90-minute daily sessions of HBO at 2.4 atmosphere pressure. Stage 1 implant surgery was performed placing two to six implants (15 mm in length and 3.75 to 4.0 mm in width) into each fibula flap. This was followed by 10 postoperative HBO sessions using the previously mentioned protocol. The stage 2 procedure was performed 6 months after the stage 1 procedure. Osseointegration was assessed clinically using manual force and an electronic device at the time the implants were uncovered and monthly over a 6-month period. Results: All 20 implants placed in the fibula flaps were osseointegrated clinically at the time the implants were uncovered and during the 6-month follow-up. Conclusion: In this pilot study, mandibular reconstruction with a vascularized fibula flap and endosseous osseointegrated implants, following radiation of the fibula, was successful. It was concluded that factors such as the graft having its own blood supply and the use of HBO contributed to the successful osseointegration of these implants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)640-644
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1995


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology

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