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A Piece of My Mind
July 4, 2012

How I Ended Up Watching Myself

Author Affiliations

A Piece of My Mind Section Editor: Roxanne K. Young, Associate Senior Editor.

Author Affiliation: Department of Pediatrics, BC Children's Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (ablipson@cw.bc.ca).

JAMA. 2012;308(1):41-42. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.7433

I have braces. I now know what those various tiny brushes, blue threads, and elastics sitting near the bathroom sink—in those days when my two now-grown daughters wore braces—were all about. I had the lesson in the orthodontist's chair today. But my braces are not for straightening teenaged teeth. They are for reducing a middle-aged jaw fracture. It is my mandible, more specifically the right condyle, that is the issue: an intracapsular fracture that I have recently learned requires “closed reduction,” ie, braces, and elastics, to bring my jaw into normal alignment so that I can eat without discomfort—eventually. I am told to never mind the right angle that my right condyle now makes into my face. Apparently it will heal “beautifully,” so my friend, an ENT surgeon, tells me. It remains to be seen, as far as I am concerned: I’m only a pediatrician, with little experience in this rarefied area of ENT/plastics/oral surgery.

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