Mandibular reconstruction has been used in the last 100 years as a safe, effective and stable technique. Various types of grafts have been used, including the autogenous rib graft; the normal repair of this type of graft has been defined in some studies although some observations have been made indicating low predictability of the growth of this bone. The aim of this study was to report the case of a patient with a rib graft for mandibular reconstruction where after 20 years cartilaginous tissue was observed exclusively in the absence of bone tissue. A 61-year-old female patient presented in the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Service for dental implants. The patient had a history of 4 previous mandibular reconstructions; imaging showed no alterations to the normal evolution of a graft. However, the intraoral access contained softer tissue than the normal bone, and thus the implant installation was abandoned. Histopathological analysis revealed the formation of collagenous tissue and cartilage, chondrocytes island conditions characteristic of cartilaginous tissue in the absence of mineralization and cancellous bone. This led to the conclusion that repair conditions can vary based on specific and general factors as yet under discussion.
KEY WORDS: Bone graft; Rib graft; Bone repair.