An Anatomical Feasibility Study Using a Great Auricular Nerve Graft for Ipsilateral Inferior Alveolar Nerve Repair.

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Publication Title

The Journal of craniofacial surgery


The great auricular nerve (GAN) has been used for trigeminal and facial nerve repair and the inferior alveolar nerve (IAN) are often sacrificed during segmental mandibulectomy. To our knowledge, only 1 case report has discussed IAN repair using GAN after segmental mandibulectomy. The goal of this study is to clarify the feasibility of using GAN for IAN repair. Eleven sides from 6 fresh frozen Caucasian cadavers were used for this study. The mean age at the time of death was 82.3 years. A submandibular skin incision was made 2 finger breadths below and parallel to the inferior border of the mandible. The GAN was identified and then the mental foramen was found via extraoral dissection. The buccal cortical bone was removed 5 mm posterior to the mental foramen to the wisdom tooth area. Next, the anteroposterior length of the window was measured. The diameter of the IAN at the first molar tooth area was measured. Finally, the GAN was cut with maximum available length to compare to the length of the window in the mandible. The anteroposterior length of the window and diameter of the IAN ranged from 23.1 to 31.2 mm and 1.2 to 2.1 mm, respectively. The length of the available GAN was longer than the ipsilateral bony window of the mandible on all sides. This study might encourage surgeons to consider a new way to treat patients who undergo segmental resection of the mandible with surgical neck dissection with injury to their IAN.

Clinical Institute

Neurosciences (Brain & Spine)