This study was set up, prospectively, to determine factors affecting the long-term hearing results of patients undergoing incus transposition as a second stage in ossicular reconstruction, following a successful drumhead repair in non-cholesteatoma ears. Seventy-one patients were entered into the study over five years from 1980–1985, 66 were available to be studied throughout the five year follow-up period.
Nine weeks post-operatively, 74 per cent of all patients has an air-bone gap of less than 15 dB (48/66). The type of first stage procedure had a significant effect on the hearing levels in the final five year assessment. The most successful sub-group were those patients who had a cortical mastoidectomy and silastic sheeting inserted in the first staging procedure. The air-bone gap, of less than 15 dB, was maintained in 71 per cent of this group (17/24). The sub-group who had a simple myringoplasty as the primary procedure had a good initial hearing level. By five years, however, only 30 per cent of the patients had maintained the air-bone gap of less than 30 dB (3/11).