PURPOSE: To estimate the screening test value of routine radiography after arch bar wire removal by assessing the incidence of retained wires and the importance of their sequelae.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a retrospective medical record review. Records of arch bar removal procedures were examined and divided into those screened with radiography after removal (screen group) and those that were not screened (comparison group). The incidence of retained wire was calculated for each group. Study variables included wire-related radiographic or clinical findings.
RESULTS: Records of 546 mandible fractures were reviewed; 95 met the study criteria. Most exclusions were due to lack of arch bars, missing postoperative radiographs, or insufficient postoperative documentation. Of the 55 records in the screen group, 1 wire was detected (2%); of the 40 records in the comparison group, 1 wire was detected (3%). The total incidence of retained wire findings was not statistically different between the 2 groups and there were no adverse wire-related sequelae reported by any of the 95 patients.
CONCLUSION: Because of the low incidence of retained wires and wire-related sequelae, routine imaging after wire removal is probably not an effective screening test for retained wire and should be limited to situations in which there is clinical suspicion of retained wire.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Oral Surgery