Complications and removal rates of miniplates and screws used for maxillofacial fractures

Islamoglu K., Coskunfirat O., Tetik G., Ozgentas H.

ANNALS OF PLASTIC SURGERY, vol.48, no.3, pp.265-268, 2002 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 48 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2002
  • Doi Number: 10.1097/00000637-200203000-00006
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.265-268
  • Akdeniz University Affiliated: No


Complications of miniplates and screws used for maxillofacial fractures were analyzed, and complications were evaluated in relation to fracture site. Motor vehicle accidents were the cause of all fractures in this study. During the last 7 years (1994-2001) noncompressive titanium miniplates and screws were used for stabilization of maxillofacial fractures. In 66 patients, 87 fracture sites were stabilized using 296 miniplates and 1,184 screws. The mean age of the patients was 31 years (age range, 6-64 years). The percentage of male patients was 77% and the percentage female patients was 23%. Miniplates and screws were used in 6 patients (10%) who were younger than 15 years of age at the time of the surgery. The follow-up period ranged between 3 months and 7 years. The overall miniplate and screw removal rate was 7%. The rates of removal according to the fracture site are as follows: mandible, 4.4%; zygornaticofrontal junction, 1.4%; inferior orbital rim, 0.7%; maxilla, 0.3%; and frontal sinus wall, 0.3%. Removal causes were infection, 2%; extrusion, 1.7%; visibility, 1.4%; pain, 1%; malunion, 0.7%; and miniplate fracture, 0.3%. The minimum time period between insertion and removal was 3 months and the maximum period was 14 months. Infection and extrusion were the main complications for removal of miniplates and screws from the mandible, whereas miniplates and screws were removed from the zygoma because of visibility (zygomaticofrontal region) under the skin in the vast majority of the patients. The maxilla was the least operated region for miniplate and screw removal. In all patients in this study, the preoperative physical symptoms were relieved after miniplate and screw removal. Miniplates and screws are very useful tools in maxillofacial fracture management, but sometimes they have to be removed. In the authors' series, the removal rate was 7%, and this rate can vary with the severity of the trauma and location of the fracture.