Introduction: In recent years, bioresorbable plates have undergone remarkable development. However, there has been no attendant improvement in their strength, because strength requires thickness, and complications such as palpability are related to the thickness of bioresorbable plate systems. In this clinical study, we compared the surgical management of zygomatic fractures using newly developed thinner bioresorbable materials or conventional titanium miniplates.
Methods: Twelve patients with zygomatic fractures were randomly divided equally into 2 groups (6 with new bioresorbable osteosynthesis materials and 6 with standard titanium miniplates). Using computed tomography, we evaluated the thickness of the soft tissue and plate at the zygomaticofrontal sutures in each patient with the help of detailed radiographic computed tomography data at 6 months postoperatively. We compared the amount of soft-tissue volume increase between the uninjured healthy and injured operated sides in each patient.
Results: Both groups eventually achieved satisfactory healing, with a favorable restoration of form and function and without any complications, including palpability. The amount of soft-tissue volume increase at the operated side relative to the uninjured healthy side using new thin bioresorbable plates was 131.1% (range: 101.5–165.8). On the other hand, that of titanium miniplates was 126.4% (range: 102.2–167.6). There was no statistically significant difference (P > 0.05).
Conclusion: This newly developed thinner flat-type bioresorbable plate system could be considered clinically useful in the treatment of zygomatic fractures even in easily palpated areas, such as the infraorbital rim or zygomaticofrontal sutures, without any healing differences in skeleton as compared with conventional titanium miniplates.