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.
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.
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.
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.
Address correspondence to: Philipp R. Aldana, M.D., Lucy Gooding Pediatric Neurosurgery Center, 836 Prudential Drive, Pavilion Building, Suite 1005, Jacksonville, Florida 32207. email:
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