Normal hearing depends upon transmission of sound through the ear canal, eardrum and the three bones (ossicles) in the middle ear space: the malleus, incus and stapes. Due to problems such as chronic ear infections, cholesteatoma, congenital defects or even trauma, these ossicles can be damaged, scarred or absent. This results in “conductive” or “mechanical” hearing loss.
At the Ear and Hearing Center at Cincinnati Children’s, our surgical therapies correct some of these hearing losses with prosthetic ossicles; artificial ear drum bones also called partial or total ossicular reconstruction prostheses.
In addition, we offer state-of-the-art management for otosclerosis, often a hereditary and or congenital problem in which the stapes bone becomes abnormally fixed and fails to transmit sound to the inner ear. Using a surgical laser, the fixed stapes bone is removed and replaced by a stainless steel piston. Hearing is restored to normal or near normal levels in more than 90 percent of patients.