The Use of Interlocking Polyetheretherketone Patient-Specific Facial Implants in the Treatment of Facial Deformities. A Retrospective Review of Ten Patients
Purpose: Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) is a versatile biocompatible material with a wide variety of clinical applications. Multiple-piece 3-dimensionally milled interlocking PEEK patient-specific implants are used in cases with restricted access or around vital structures. The interlocking joints reduce the number of fixation screws required by converting the multiple segments into one single implant. Stability of such joints is of paramount importance to prevent complications such as infection and implant extrusion. This retrospective study evaluates the clinical outcomes in the use of multiple-piece 3-dimensionally milled interlocking PEEK patient-specific implants as a treatment for various congenital and acquired facial deformities. Methods: Patients' records and clinical interviews were retrospectively reviewed. Results: A total of 10 patients were included; 6 of them (60%) were men. A planning cone beam scan (90%) or computed tomography scan (10%) were obtained following a standard protocol. All treatments were performed by a single surgeon, following a standardized approach. The follow-up time ranged from 11 to 61 months (mean = 37.1 months), No implant exposure, extrusion or removal were reported. Three patients (30%) have experienced complications. Recurrent edema was observed in 1 patient (10%), another patient (10%) experienced bilateral mental nerve paresthesia, and the third patient (10%) had recurrent sinusitis, which was successfully treated with functional endoscopic sinus surgery without removing the implant. Conclusion: Within the limitation of this study, 3-dimensionally milled interlocking PEEK patient-specific implants are safe, predictable, potentially save operative time, and readily adjustable. Extra stability and antislippage mechanism can be achieved by using the interlocking joint. Further studies on a larger cohort of patients is needed to confirm these results.