Importance Limited donor and recipient site complications support the osteocutaneous radial forearm free flap (OCRFFF) for mandibular reconstruction as a useful option for single-stage mandibular reconstruction.
Objective To examine and report long-term outcomes and complications at the donor and recipient sites for patients undergoing the OCRFFF for mandibular reconstruction.
Design Retrospective review.
Setting Academic, tertiary care medical center.
Patients The study population comprised 167 consecutive patients who underwent single-staged mandibular reconstruction with an OCRFFF.
Mean Outcome Measures Rates of complications at the donor and recipient sites.
Results The mean patient age was 61 years (range, 20-93 years). Men compromised 68% of the population. Follow-up interval ranged from 2 to 99 months (mean, 25.9 months). The median length of bone harvested was 7 cm (range, 2.5-12.0 cm). Prophylactic plating was completed for each of the radii at the time of harvest. Donor site complications included radial fracture (1 patient [0.5%]), tendon exposure (47 patients [28%]), and donor hand weakness or numbness (13 patients [9%]). Recipient site complications included mandible hardware exposure (29 patients [17%]), mandible nonunion or malunion (4 patients [2%]), and mandible bone or hardware fracture (4 patients [2%]). Using regression analysis, we found that patients were 1.3 times more likely to have plate exposure for every increase of 1 cm of bone harvest length; this was statistically significant (P = .04).
Conclusions and Relevance This is the largest single study reporting outcomes and complications for patients undergoing OCRFFF for mandibular reconstruction. Prophylactic plating of the donor radius has nearly eliminated the risk of pathologic radial bone fractures. Limited long-term donor and recipient site complications support the use of this flap for single-stage mandibular reconstruction.