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Revista Española de Cirugía Oral y Maxilofacial

On-line version ISSN 2173-9161Print version ISSN 1130-0558


DE LA FUENTE-ESCALONA, Mónica et al. Removal of osteosynthesis elements associated with maxillofacial trauma surgery in a public hospital in Santiago, Chile. Retrospective study of 4 years. Rev Esp Cirug Oral y Maxilofac [online]. 2023, vol.45, n.2, pp.64-70.  Epub Nov 20, 2023. ISSN 2173-9161.


Surgical management of maxillofacial trauma involves the use of osteosynthesis elements (OTS) for open reduction and rigid internal fixation. However, there are reasons that determine their removal. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of osteosynthesis material removal and its causes at Hospital San José in Santiago de Chile between 2018 and 2021.


Retrospective descriptive study. Patients who underwent surgery for maxillofacial trauma during the 4-year period were selected. The number of operated patients, age, gender, comorbidities, fracture site, number of removal surgeries and time in position of these elements were analyzed. Regarding removal, location and etiology were obtained.


There were 176 surgeries for maxillofacial trauma, of which 17 (9.66 %) required the removal of OTS, removing a total of 19 elements. The average age was 36.5 years. The male gender predominated over the female (3.25:1). The frequent anatomical area of removal was the mandible (94.7 %), especially the mandibular angle. The main causes were plaque and/or screw exposure and surgical site infection (36.8 %). Most OTS removals occurred before 12 months (84 %) with an average time in position of 10.23 months.


The results found show a low prevalence of OTS removal, males are the most affected, the frequent anatomical site of removal is the mandibular bone, the main causes are plaque exposure or infection. These findings are consistent with those reported in the literature.

Keywords : Facial trauma; facial fracture; osteosynthesis; complications; maxillofacial surgery; plate removal.

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