Send to

Choose Destination
J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2014 Apr;72(4):762.e1-4. doi: 10.1016/j.joms.2013.12.020. Epub 2014 Jan 7.

Comparison of titanium and biodegradable plates for treating midfacial fractures.

Author information

Professor, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Gil Medical Center, Gachon University, Incheon, South Korea.
Professor, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Chosun University College of Medicine, Gwangju, South Korea.
Director, Department of Otolaryngology, Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University of California-Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, CA. Electronic address:



The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the use of titanium plates and screws (TPSs) versus biodegradable plates and screws (BPSs) for fixation of midfacial fractures. In addition, complications related to the plates and rates of secondary surgery for plate removal were compared.


From March 2005 to March 2012, 109 patients were enrolled in this study. Fifty-six patients with TPSs implanted to fix midfacial fractures (group A) and 53 patients with BPSs to treat midfacial fractures (group B) were evaluated. Patients' histories of plate-related nonunion, infection, displacement, pain, and palpability and secondary surgery for plate removal were checked.


None of the study participants developed nonunion issues related to the TPSs or BPSs. Six patients in group A developed complications associated with TPSs and 5 patients underwent secondary surgery for plate removal. One patient (1.8%) had a plate-related infection, 1 patient (1.8%) developed plate extrusion, 1 patient (1.8%) had plate-associated chronic pain, 2 patients (3.6%) complained of palpability, and 2 patients (3.6%) developed psychological problems (1 patient developed 2 complications). In contrast, only 1 patient in group B (2%) complained of temporary palpability, and this problem disappeared over time. None of the patients in group B complained of any other problems.


The results indicated that BPSs and TPSs have the potential for successfully treating midfacial fractures. BPSs are suitable for treating midfacial fractures and could serve as an alternative for TPSs in selected cases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center