Ultrasound-aided fixation of a biodegradable cranial fixation system: uses in pediatric neurosurgery

Technical note

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Object

Bioresorbable implant systems have been used in neurosurgery for the rigid fixation of cranial and facial bones. A relatively recent advancement has been the fixation of these implants using an ultrasonic device. The experience with such a device in neurosurgical practice has been limited. The authors report on their experience with ultrasound-aided fixation of bioresorbable implants in pediatric neurosurgical practice.

Methods

The study consisted of 2 parts. The retrospective portion consisted of a chart review of pertinent clinical information, complications, and outcomes after the use of a commercially available ultrasound-aided bioresorbable implant system (SonicWeld Rx, KLS Martin L.P.). Follow-up was obtained in all patients via clinical examination or telephone interview. The prospective portion of the study consisted of video analysis of the implantation technique in a routine craniotomy. Implantation times were measured, and delays during treatment were noted.

Results

Over a period of 2 years, 28 consecutive patients underwent placement of these implants for bone fixation during craniotomies or craniofacial reconstructions. The only complication was seen in a child with Crouzon syndrome, who had a wound infection caused by Serratia sepsis from a central venous line infection. There were no repeated operations for implant-related swelling, and no cases of premature plate resorption, bone instability, or settling. In vivo, the average time required to implant a resorbable pin with this system was 22 seconds.

Conclusions

The use of a bioresorbable implant system with ultrasound-aided pin fixation in pediatric neurosurgery cases achieved adequate stability with few complications. This system was easy to use and provided rapid fixation of implants.

Article Information

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to: Philipp R. Aldana, M.D., Lucy Gooding Pediatric Neurosurgery Center, 836 Prudential Drive, Pavilion Building, Suite 1005, Jacksonville, Florida 32207. email: philipp.aldana@jax.ufl.edu.
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References
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