Fasciocutaneous Flaps for Refractory Intermediate Stage Osteoradionecrosis of the Mandible—Is It Time for a Shift in Management?

Academic Article


  • Purpose: Historically, free tissue transfer has been reserved for advanced stage osteoradionecrosis (ORN) of the jaw with pathologic fracture or cutaneous fistula. The purpose of this study was to evaluate if in patients with recalcitrant intermediate stage ORN, would mandibular debridement in combination with vascularized soft tissue coverage result in durable symptom and disease resolution. Patients and Methods: A retrospective cohort study of patients with mandibular ORN was performed comparing a mandibular preserving approach with a fasciocutaneous forearm flap for progressive treatment-resistant intermediate stage ORN to mandibulectomy and vascularized bone flap (VBF) reconstruction for advanced stage ORN. The primary outcome was ORN resolution. Results: The sample was composed of 35 patients. One-hundred percent of patients undergoing a mandibular preserving approach experienced ORN resolution compared with 83.3% in the segmental mandibulectomy and VBF reconstruction group (P = .28). Patients in the mandibular preservation group experienced a shorter hospitalization (6 vs 9 days; P = .07), decreased length of surgery (384.9 vs 406.3 minutes; P = .01), and less delayed healing requiring local wound care (9.1 vs 45.8% of patients; P = .06). Conclusions: A mandibular preserving approach is successful at arresting intermediate stage ORN and is associated with a decreased operative time, a shorter hospitalization, and less need for prolonged wound care when compared with VBF reconstruction for advanced stage ORN.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Gigliotti J; Ying Y; Redden D; Kase M; Morlandt AB
  • Start Page

  • 1156
  • End Page

  • 1167
  • Volume

  • 79
  • Issue

  • 5