Treating Mandible Fractures
The three main tenets in treating a mandible (jawbone) fracture are reduction, rigid fixation, and avoiding infection. Reduction is placing the bony segments
back in anatomic alignment. Rigid fixation is usually wiring the maxillary teeth (upper teeth) to the mandibular teeth (the lower teeth) to hold the bone fragments in place. it is critical that the wiring is done in such a way that the normal occlusion is obtained.
Rigid fixation is done for both closed fractures and more complicated open fractures when bone may have punctured the skin or oral mucosa. There are several different types of plates that can be used and occasionally it is necessary to fix the mandible using external pin fixation, particularly in fractures with bone loss or in fracture sites that are infected.
Even with the most skilled surgeon, complications do occur after repair of mandiblular fractures. These include infection, TMJ ankylosis (bony material filling in the joint space), malocclusion, and bone nonunion.
Copyright 2007 InsideSurgery.com