We conducted a study to evaluate functional and cosmetic outcomes following reconstruction of the mandibular condyle with direct placement of a vascularized free fibula. We retrospectively reviewed the cases of all patients who had undergone hemimandibulectomy and condyle resection with immediate reconstruction at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., between Nov. 1, 2005, and Jan. 31, 2007. We found 7 such cases, all of which occurred in men aged 32 to 61 years (mean: 50.7). Six of these patients had a malignancy and 1 had osteomyelitis. Postoperatively, 6 patients had no difficulty with occlusion, which was rated as “good” or “excellent” at their 6-month follow-up visit; the other patient had an open-bite deformity, but he was able to masticate solid food and maintain an oral diet. Cosmesis was generally satisfactory, and all patients maintained intelligible speech. We conclude that free fibula transfer with direct seating of the fibula into the condylar fossa followed by aggressive physiotherapy provides acceptable functional reconstruction of the mandibulectomy-condylectomy defect.
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