Biomechanical evaluation of CAD/CAM magnesium miniplates as a fixation strategy for the treatment of segmental mandibular reconstruction with a fibula free flap
Titanium patient-specific (CAD/CAM) plates are frequently used in mandibular reconstruction. However, titanium is a very stiff, non-degradable material which also induces artifacts in the imaging. Although magnesium has been proposed as a potential material alternative, the biomechanical conditions in the reconstructed mandible under magnesium CAD/CAM plate fixation are unknown. This study aimed to evaluate the primary fixation stability and potential of magnesium CAD/CAM miniplates. The biomechanical environment in a one segmental mandibular reconstruction with fibula free flap induced by a combination of a short posterior titanium CAD/CAM reconstruction plate and two anterior CAD/CAM miniplates of titanium and/or magnesium was evaluated, using computer modeling approaches. Output parameters were the strains in the healing regions and the stresses in the plates. Mechanical strains increased locally under magnesium fixation. Two plate-protective constellations for magnesium plates were identified: (1) pairing one magnesium miniplate with a parallel titanium miniplate and (2) pairing anterior magnesium miniplates with a posterior titanium reconstruction plate. Due to their degradability and reduced stiffness in comparison to titanium, magnesium plates could be beneficial for bone healing. Magnesium miniplates can be paired with titanium plates to ensure a non-occurrence of plate failure.
Fibula free flap