Hearing improvement after reconstruction of a defect ossicular chain depends on material, design and - crucially - coupling of the prosthesis. Coupling a total ossicular replacement prosthesis to the stapes footplate can be problematic and lead to prosthesis instability. In order to solve this problem, the Omega Connector was developed, a module allowing the middle ear surgeon to couple a titanium total prosthesis to the stapes footplate in a flexible, angle-variable manner.
The Omega Connector is made of pure titanium and consists of three compenents: head, neck and base plate. The head allows a jointed coupling to the stem of a titanium total prosthesis. Positioned between the remnants of the stapes crura, the bas plate proves for a stable connection with the stapes footplate.
The Omega Connector was implanted during 14 revisions surgeries. In 10 of these surgeries a total ossicular replacement prosthesis was removed which was implanted at an earlier date and which was fixed and no longer functioning. In all 14 cases it was possible intraoperatively to position the Omega Connector correctly and to couple it to a titanium total prosthesis. The postoperative hearing gain was between 10 to 25 dB, with an average of 18 dB.
For the first time, the Omega Connector offers to the surgeon the option to couple a titanium total prosthesis via a micro ball joint. Hearing results achieved so far are satisfying. The results confirm the advantages of the Omega Connector during implantation of a titanium total prosthesis. For a final evaluation, long-term studies have yet to be made.