Surgeon Uses Dissolving Plates And Screws For Craniofacial Surgery

May 22, 1996


Media Contacts: Sarah Goodwin, 404/727-3366 -
Kathi Ovnic, 404/727-9371 --
Delicate facial, brain or skull surgery is enhanced when medical plates and screws are used that dissolve within months of implantation, says Emory University craniofacial surgeon Robert J. Wood, M.D., who is one of 15 surgeons in the nation and the only surgeon in Georgia granted permission to use the new devices.

The permanent titanium plates and screws now used may be especially troublesome in young patients, since they may sometimes be felt as the child grows and they tend to migrate internally as the skull grows, says Dr. Wood, who is assistant professor of surgery (plastic and reconstructive), Emory University School of Medicine.

A major advantage of the new, plastic devices is apparent at the time of surgery, too; once heated, the plates become pliable, allowing the surgeon to mold them into place. Such customization is impossible with conventional metal plates.

Developed by Biomet Corporation, the new devices are made of a copolymer which combines polyglycolic and polylactic acid. The devices have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in reconstructive and trauma head and neck surgery. This includes orthognathic surgery of the jaw (to repair severe underbite or overbite, for instance), surgery to repair the face and orbits around the eye damaged by trauma or the result of congenital deformity, correction of a misshapen skull characteristic of craniosynostosis, or cosmetic nose repair, among other applications. The devices are inappropriate for orthopaedic surgery on load-bearing bones.

Thus far, Dr. Wood has used the resorbable plates and screws in two pediatric patients and plans to use them in adult surgery within a month.

"We believe resorbable plates are one of the biggest advancements in our field in years," Dr. Wood says. "Our experience so far has been very positive."

Emory University Health Sciences Center

Related Trauma Articles from Brightsurf:

Early trauma influences metabolism across generations
A study by the Brain Research Institute at UZH reveals that early trauma leads to changes in blood metabolites - similarly in mice and humans.

Childhood trauma affects the timing of motherhood
Women who have experienced childhood trauma become mothers earlier than those with a more stable childhood environment shows a new study conducted in collaboration between the University of Turku and the University of Helsinki in Finland.

Trauma relapse in a novel context may be preventable
Korea Brain Research Institute (KBRI, President: Pann-Ghill Suh) announced on February 10 that its research team led by Dr.

Paving the way to healing complex trauma
A major study led by researchers at La Trobe University in Australia has identified key themes that will be used to inform strategies to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents in the first years of their children's lives.

Improving trauma pain outcomes
A 7-year prospective cohort study from the Corporal Michael J.

Emotional trauma and fear most likely cause of 'Havana Syndrome'
The cause of the mystery illness among US and Canadian diplomats in Havana is most likely to be emotional trauma and fear according to a leading sociologist and an expert in neurodegenerative diseases, writing in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

Making a 'to do' list for trauma docs
Researchers from Drexel's College of Computing & Informatics have been integrating a tablet-based checklist tool into the workflow of a pediatric trauma center and, over the course of 15 months, have shown that it doesn't hamper doctors' performance.

Children develop PTSD when they 'overthink' their trauma
A new study shows that children are more likely to suffer PTSD if they think their reaction to a traumatic event is not 'normal'.

Disparities in access to trauma centers
An analysis of census tract data for neighborhoods in America's three largest cities suggests black-majority neighborhoods are associated with disparities in access to trauma centers.

Psychotic experiences could be caused by trauma in childhood
Researchers at the University of Bristol have made stronger links between psychotic experiences and different types of trauma in childhood.

Read More: Trauma News and Trauma Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to