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Use of New Bioabsorbable Tacks and a Tackshooter in Cranial Bone Osteofixation Saves Operative Time

Spanio, Stefano MD*; Ashammakhi, Nureddin MD, PhD, FRCSEd; Ilomäki, Jouko MScEng; Välimaa, Tero MScEng; Rainer, Christian MD*; Waris, Timo MD, PhD§; Törmälä, Pertti PhD, MDScihc; Ninkovic, Milomir MD, PhD*

Journal of Craniofacial Surgery: September 2002 - Volume 13 - Issue 5 - p 693-696
Innovation and Techniques

A new device (a tackshooter) to apply bioabsorbable tacks in craniofacial surgery has been developed. This new device was used in 15 children who underwent various cranioplasty procedures to demonstrate its reliability and simple technical application in cranial bone osteofixation. Bone segments were fixed together and to the cranial bones using Biosorb plates and tacks. Stable and secure fixation was obtained intraoperatively, with reduced operative time (10–15%) compared with earlier use of plates and screws. However, its use in very thin bone (<1 mm thick) is very limited because of bone fragility. In conclusion, use of tacks and a tackshooter reduces operative time, risk of infection and blood loss, and consequently costs. It is therefore very useful in selected craniofacial cases.

Innsbruck, Austria

Oulu, Finland

Tampere, Finland

*Department of Plastic Surgery, Innsbruck University, Innsbruck, Austria, †Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland, ‡Bionx Implants Ltd., Tampere, Finland, §Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Tampere University Hospital, and University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland, Institute of Biomaterials, Tampere University of Technology, Tampere, Finland

Address correspondence to Prof. Dr. Milomir Ninkovic, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University of Innsbruck, Anichstrasse 35, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria; E-mail

Sources of support: Technology Development Center in Finland (TEKES, 90220), and the European Commission (Project BMH4-98-3892 and Project QLRT-2000-00487). Research funds from the Technology Development Center in Finland (TEKEs, 90220) and the European Commission (Biomedicine and Health Programme, European Union Demonstration Project BMH4-98-3892 and R&D Project QLRT-2000-00487) are greatly appreciated.

© 2002 Mutaz B. Habal, MD