Clinical Evaluation of Implants in Radiated Fibula Flaps

Thomas J. Salinas, Valmont P. Desa, Alexander Katsnelson, Michael Miloro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Purpose: The success of osseointegrated implants in the radiated fibula flap used for mandibular reconstruction is variable, and there are few long-term data available in the literature. The purpose of this study is to evaluate implant success in radiated fibula flaps and the native mandible after ablative tumor surgery. Materials and Methods: The medical records of 44 patients who underwent resection and reconstruction of the mandible from 1994 to 2006 were reviewed retrospectively. A total of 206 implants were placed; 144 were placed in a fibula flap, and 92 were placed in the native mandible. Before implant placement, 22 patients (50%) received adjuvant tumoricidal doses of radiation therapy (>6,000 cGy). All patients who received radiation received a standard regimen of 20 preoperative and 10 postoperative hyperbaric oxygen treatments. The follow-up period ranged from 4 to 108 months (mean, 41.1 months). Comparisons were made between groups regarding long-term implant success based on several variables. Results: Implants were considered to be successful if there was no radiographic evidence of peri-implant bone loss and if they were clinically osseointegrated. Of 206 implants, 31 failed, with an overall success rate of 85%. The success rate of implants placed in fibula flaps was 82.4%, and the success rate in native mandibles was 88%. Most of the failures in the fibula (90%) occurred within the first 6 months after implant placement, whereas most of the failures in the mandible occurred after 6 months. The cumulative survival rate was 91.9%, and there was no difference in survival between implants placed in the fibula versus the native mandible or depending on whether the patient received radiation therapy. Conclusion: Acceptable long-term implant success rates may be achieved in the radiated mandible with vascularized fibula flap reconstruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)524-529
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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