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Semin Plast Surg. 2009 May;23(2):119-31. doi: 10.1055/s-0029-1214164.

Reconstruction of osteomyelitis defects of the craniofacial skeleton.

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Division of Pediatric Plastic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


Osteomyelitis of the craniofacial skeleton closely resembles osteomyelitis elsewhere in the body in its pathophysiology and medical management; subsequent reconstruction after debridement remains distinctly challenging. The goals of reconstruction must include the restoration of the complex and readily visible morphology of the cranium and face, as well as the adequate return of vital sensory, expressive, and digestive functions. In this article, the various reconstructive modalities will be discussed including pedicled and nonpedicled flaps with or without an osseous component, nonvascularized bone grafts, alloplastic implants, and bone regeneration using protein therapy. Although reconstruction of craniofacial defects after osteomyelitis commonly proves formidable, the satisfactory return of form and function remains a plausible reconstructive goal.


Osteomyelitis; craniofacial; head and neck; mandible; midface; reconstruction; skull

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