Erosion of the incus by the chorda tympani nerve from a complex retraction pocket

September 20, 2015     Ramanan Daniel, MBBS; Fiona Hill, MBBS; Timothy Price, FRCS(OHNS)

Chronic eustachian tube dysfunction can lead to retraction of the tympanic membrane and bone erosion.

Absence of the long process of the incus

February 2, 2015     Christina H. Fang, BS; Robert W. Jyung, MD

A definitive diagnosis of an ossicular defect, such as absence of the incus long process, requires an exploratory tympanotomy.

Outcomes following ossicular chain reconstruction with composite prostheses: Hydroxyapatite-polyethylene vs. hydroxyapatite-titanium

June 11, 2013     Yoav Hahn, MD; and Dennis I. Bojrab, MD


We conducted a retrospective study to compare the results of ossicular chain reconstruction (OCR) with two types of composite prosthesis: a hydroxyapatite-polyethylene (HAPEX) implant and a hydroxyapatite-titanium (HATi) prosthesis. We reviewed the records of 222 patients-104 males and 118 females, aged 8 to 79 years (mean: 39.7)-who had undergone OCR for ossicular chain dysfunction and who met our eligibility criteria. In addition to demographic data and the type of prosthesis, we compiled information on pre- and postoperative audiometric findings, the underlying diagnosis, the timing of surgery (primary, planned, or revision), the type of surgery (tympanoplasty alone, tympanoplasty with antrotomy, intact-canal-wall tympanomastoidectomy, or canal-wall-down tympanomastoidectomy), the extent of reconstruction (partial or total), the use of the malleus, the use of a tragal cartilage graft, and evidence of extrusion. Of the 222 patients, 46 had undergone insertion of either a partial (n = 36) or total (n = 10) ossicular replacement prosthesis (PORP and TORP, respectively) made with HAPEX, and 176 had received a PORP (n = 101) or TORP (n = 75) made with HATi. Postoperatively, the mean air-bone gap (ABG) was 14.0 dB in the HAPEX group and 14.7 dB in the HATi group, which was not a significant difference (p = 0.61). Postoperative success (ABG ≤20 dB) with PORP was obtained in 30 of the 36 patients in the HAPEX group (83.3%) and in 87 of the 101 patients in the HATi group (86.1%), while success with TORP was achieved in 7 of 10 HAPEX patients (70.0%) and 56 of 75 HATi patients (74.7%); there was no significant difference in either PORP or TORP success rates between the HAPEX and HATi groups (p = 0.32). A significantly better hearing result was obtained when the malleus was used in reconstruction (p = 0.035), but the use of tragal cartilage led to a significantly worse outcome (p = 0.026). Revision surgery was associated with a significantly worse postoperative result (p = 0.034). Prosthesis extrusion was observed in 9.0% of all cases. The two types of composite assessed in this study yielded similar results in terms of functional hearing and stability, but the HATi prosthesis had some significant advantages. For example, it was associated with more cases in which the ABG closed to less than 10 dB. In addition, because of its thinner stem and lower profile, it can be used in situations that are not possible with the HAPEX implant.

Traumatic ossicle extrusion into the external auditory canal

June 11, 2013     Manish Gupta, MS(ENT); Sunder Singh, MS(ENT); and Monica Gupta, MD(Med)


We report a rare case of incus dislocation into the external auditory canal following a head injury. The patient was a 35-year-old man who presented to the surgical emergency unit with a head injury that he had sustained during a traffic accident. An x-ray of the skull detected a longitudinal fracture of the right temporal bone. The ENT examination revealed the presence of a bony structure and a blood clot in the right external auditory canal. Computed tomography identified a disruption of the ossicular chain, with an incus-like bony shadow in the external canal. The wide opening of the fracture line and the impact of the accident were believed to have pushed the incus through the fracture and into the external canal. The patient was successfully treated with exploratory tympanotomy and ossiculoplasty.

Idiopathic incus necrosis: Analysis of 4 cases

February 25, 2013     Leyla Kansu, MD; Ismail Yilmaz, MD; Volkan Akdogan, MD; Suat Avci, MD; Levent Ozluoglu, MD


We evaluated ossicular chain reconstruction in patients with idiopathic incus necrosis who have conductive hearing loss and an intact ear drum. The study included four patients (3 women and 1 man; the ages of the patients were 22, 31, 35, and 56 years, respectively) with unilateral conductive hearing loss, no history of chronic serous otitis media, an intact ear drum, normal middle ear mucosa, and necrosis of the long processes of the incus. On preoperative pure tone audiometry, air-bone gaps were 24, 25, 38, and 33 dB. Bilateral tympanometry and temporal bone computed tomography results were normal. All 4 patients underwent an exploratory tympanotomy. During the operation, the mucosa of the middle ear was normal, with a mobile stapes foot plate and malleus. No evidence of any granulation tissue was found; however, necrosis of the incus long processes was seen. For ossicular reconstruction, we used tragal cartilage between the incus and the stapes in 1 patient; in the other 3 patients, glass ionomer bone cement was used (an interposition cartilage graft also was used in the patients who received the glass ionomer bone cement). In all patients, air-bone gaps under 20 dB were established in the first year after surgery. In the ossicular disorders within the middle ear, the incus is the most commonly affected ossicle. While, the most common cause of these disorders is chronic otitis media, it may be idiopathic rarely. Several ossicular reconstruction techniques have been used to repair incudostapedial discontinuity.

Incus augmentation with glass ionomer cement in primary and revision stapes surgery

December 17, 2010     Gediz Murat Serin, MD, Behram Çam, MD, Ufuk Derinsu, PhD, Murat Sari, MD, and Çağlar Batman, MD


In stapedotomy, augmentation of the long process of the incus is necessary when the structure is too short or thin or when the bone has been eroded to the point that it is not possible to satisfactorily attach a piston prosthesis to it. One substance that has been used to augment the long process is glass ionomer cement (GIC). GIC is a dental bone cement that is finding new uses in otologic procedures. We conducted a retrospective study of 10 stapedotomies (6 primary and 4 revision cases) that included the use GIC to augment an insufficient long process. In all 10 cases, surgery was successful and without complication. A comparison of pre- and postoperative audiometry revealed significant improvements in mean air-conduction threshold and air-bone gap following surgery. Our findings suggest that GIC is safe and effective in augmenting the long process of the incus during both primary and revision stapedotomy.

Dissection of the incus long process by the chorda tympani nerve

March 31, 2010     Julia Vent, MD, PhD and Dirk Beutner, MD

Applebaum incudostapedial prosthesis

August 31, 2009     James Lin, MD and Jose N. Fayad, MD

Ossicular chain dislocation with normal hearing

May 31, 2005     Allison R. Holzapfel, MD; C.Y. Joseph Chang, MD; Kevin D. Pereira, MD
We report a unique case of an ossicular chain injury in a young man. Despite the fact that the patient's incus was dislocated into the external auditory canal while remaining attached to the stapes, his hearing was not affected and remained nearly normal. We discuss the patient's presenting features and our diagnostic and management strategy in this case.

Surgical-handling properties of the titanium prosthesis in ossiculoplasty

March 1, 2005     Marcus M. Maassen, MD; Hubert Löwenheim, MD; Markus Pfister, MD; Stephan Herberhold, MD; Jesus Rodriguez Jorge, MD; Ingo Baumann, MD; Andreas Nüsser, MD; Rainer Zimmermann, MD; Sibylle Brosch, MD; Hans P. Zenner, MD
Despite the wide variety of ossiculoplasty techniques that are available, success rates are limited. Current use indicates that surgeons prefer ceramic, autograft bone, and plastic pore prostheses. During the past decade, titanium prostheses have been used with great promise. Although their use is not widespread, satisfaction rates are high. An earlier study of ossiculoplasty showed that titanium prostheses were effective in reducing conductive hearing loss. To date, the surgical-handling attributes of titanium middle ear prostheses have not been assessed. We report the results of our survey of 32 otologic surgeons who used the open Tübingen titanium prosthesis for primary and revision ossiculoplasty during tympanoplasty in 400 patients at 12 academic and nonacademic otolaryngology clinics, most of them in Germany. Because the audiometric efficacy of titanium prostheses has been previously reported, our primary outcomes measures included ease of use with respect to the amount of time required to prepare the implants for placement and the surgeons' overall impression of the intraoperative handling characteristics of the implants, taking into consideration factors such as positioning, length adjustment, visibility, and the stability of the coupling. Surgeons also compared the properties of the titanium implant with those of gold, ceramic, and autograft implants that they had used in the past. Based on the results of 383 of the 400 ossiculoplasties, our survey revealed that the titanium implant was significantly superior to the others in all measured respects.

Ossiculoplasty in a patient with a cleft of the soft palate

February 1, 2005     Arun K. Gadre, MD

Spontaneous atticotomy

April 30, 2004     Jack L. Pulec, MD†; Christian Deguine, MD