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Porous Polymethylmethacrylate as Bone Substitute in the Craniofacial Area

Bruens, Marco L. MD*; Pieterman, Herman MD; de Wijn, Joost R. PhD; Vaandrager, J. Michael MD*

Journal of Craniofacial Surgery: January 2003 - Volume 14 - Issue 1 - p 63-68
Clinical Notes

In craniofacial surgery, alloplastic materials are used for correcting bony defects. Porous polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) is a biocompatible and nondegradable bone cement. Porous PMMA is formed by the classic bone cement formulation of methylmethacrylate liquid and PMMA powder in which an aqueous biodegradable carboxymethylcellulose gel is dispersed to create pores in the cement when cured. Pores give bone the opportunity to grow in, resulting in a better fixation of the prostheses. We evaluated the long-term results (n = 14), up to 20 years, of augmentations and defect fillings in the craniofacial area, with special interest in possible side effects and bone ingrowth. The evaluation consisted of a questionnaire, a physical examination, and a computed tomography (CT) scan. There were no side effects that could be ascribed to the porous PMMA. Twelve CT scans showed bone ingrowth into the prostheses, proving the validity behind the concept of porous PMMA.

Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Leiden, The Netherlands

From the Departments of *Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Radiology, Erasmus Medical Center, Sophia Children's Hospital, Rotterdam, and Biomaterials Research Group, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Address correspondence to Dr Vaandrager, University Hospital Rotterdam, PO 2600, 3000 CB Rotterdam, The Netherlands; e-mail:

© 2003 Mutaz B. Habal, MD