Nasal bone fractures are the most common type of facial fracture. Nasal bone fractures often occur in combination with septal cartilage fractures, because the nasal septal cartilage acts as a vertical strut and provides structural support for the nose and bilateral nasal airway. However, the treatment for nasal septal cartilage fracture remains controversial, and if untreated, nasal septal cartilage fracture can lead to various complications, such as nasal obstruction and posttraumatic nasal and septal deformity. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of our procedure in which septal cartilage fractures were treated with septoplasty using an absorbable plate as an internal splint.
Between January 2017 and November 2020, 21 patients with nasal septal cartilage fractures were treated with septoplasty using an absorbable plate as an internal splint. The severity of the septal cartilage fracture was graded from 0 to 3 according to the computed tomography septal grading system. The numeric graded scale of nasal septal cartilage fracture was evaluated preoperatively and 6 months postoperatively using a computed tomography scan.
Of 21 patients with septal cartilage fractures, 12 were treated with a polycaprolactone (PCL) mesh plate, and 9 were treated with a polydioxanone (PDS) plate. In the PDS plate group, the preoperative numeric scale of nasal septal cartilage fracture was 2.50 (2.00–3.00), whereas the postoperative numeric scale was 1.00 (1.00–1.25, P = 0.023). In the PCL mesh plate group, the preoperative numeric scale of nasal septal cartilage fracture was 2.00 (2.00–3.00), whereas the postoperative numeric scale was 1.00 (1.00–1.50, P = 0.034). The effectiveness of the PCL mesh plate and that of the PDS plate group according to the septal grading scale were 1.45 (SD, 0.522) and 1.18 (SD, 0.603), respectively. However, these differences were not statistically significant.
Our study shows that septoplasty using absorbable plates provides satisfactory and safe clinical outcomes in patients with nasal septal cartilage fractures.