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Titanium Plate after mandibulectomy

CheekyBird's picture
CheekyBird
Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2013

Hello, I have a titanium plate in my lower jaw due to an inadvertent fracture of my jaw during the removal of the tumor/mandibulectomy. My tumor margins and subsequent lymph nodes removed were clear, so thankfully, I did not need radiation.  Is there anyone out there who can share with me how the plate has affected them?  I know I am very fortunate and do live with the risk of at some point having the plate give out (this is my 2nd due to screws loosening and a jaw infection) - but meanwhile, is there anyone who has had a plate long-term?.  Ive only had mine since last year and I find that it gets cold as an ice cube and aches during cold weather, I do have pain, cant chew a lot of things, etc.  Just need some encouragement.  Thank you

hwt's picture
hwt
Posts: 2125
Joined: Jun 2012

I had my lower jaw recontructed with my fibula and titanium last January. For many months it felt like I was carrying around a bag of nickels on my lower jaw but that sensation has since passed. I haven't noticed anything usual in the cold but it hasn't been down to zero here this year either. I can't open my mouth as wide as I used to and that isn't going to change. When I cut a sandwich and eat it with a fork because I can't get my mouth around it, I just remind myself that I am fortunate to be eating it at all. I am about to undergo hyper baric chamber tx and then will be getting implants where he fibula/titanium is. Right now, I have a temporary denture. A year out and my jaw is a constant discomfort but never painful. I did have chemo and radiation and attribute most of my discomfort to the radiation. 

Candi

George_Baltimore's picture
George_Baltimore
Posts: 303
Joined: Jun 2009

Unfortunately, I can't help you with your question.  After my bone graft failed and they took the bone out, a screw worked loose on the plate.  A month and a half after the bone came out, so did the plate.  I was told they couldn't reattach it.  I'm surprised they reattached yours.  I'm going to find out why couldn't attach mine again now that I know reattachment is possible.  Right now the half a mandible that I have left sorta swings in the breeze.  Good luck.

hwt's picture
hwt
Posts: 2125
Joined: Jun 2012

That would be wonderful if you good get a shot at another plate. Have you ever considered getting an opinion from Mayo? 

George_Baltimore's picture
George_Baltimore
Posts: 303
Joined: Jun 2009

when I get dilated again on the 19th.  One of the two doctors that performed the mandible operation is going to dilate me since my gastroenterologist was afraid he'd tear my esophagus the last time he tried.  With all the known FACTS about my case, I came to the conclusion that my esophageal stricture wasn't staying open because of the neck being fibrotic and putting pressure on everything.  I advanced that theory to my doc and he said that was possible.  Since I've had improvement with the neck from my chiropractor using the Graston Technique on me, I wanted to try the drug that Blackswampboy brought up in a recent post.  I found out though that Trental can't be crushed because it is a time release tablet.  I did start using an over the counter herbal supplement that does basically the same thing as Trental in that it increases the blood flow.  Hopefully by attacking the problem both from the inside and outside, I'll get this thing licked and be able to swallow again.

I seem to have gotten off on a tangent, HWT.  As far as your question about Mayo, I think Hellman's is best especially on fresh white bread with a thick slice of beefsteak tomato and a cold glass of whole white milk (Sorry, couldn't resist.  As you can tell, I dream alot about food).  Seriously though, my two docs that did the operation are both affiliated with Johns Hopkins. I'm sure both are up with the latest techniques.  I do have confidence in both.  My failure was brought on by 44 years of smoking and drinking plus even more years of eating good fried foods.  For the way things turned out, I have no one to blame but myself.

longtermsurvivor's picture
longtermsurvivor
Posts: 1845
Joined: Mar 2010

for two years now.  It was placed when I had my radical surgery in 2010.  I had no problems whatsoever.  Except that my cancer reoccured so i went through radiation.  That has not effected it at all.  I do notice some early morning swelling around that area, which subsides as the day goes by.  It causes me no symptoms however.   I did have a mild infection early on around the plate.  It did not loosen.  The infection cleared completely with antibiotics and never returned.   

 

Pat

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