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May 1952


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine.

AMA Arch Surg. 1952;64(5):655-664. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1952.01260010673015

DIRECT,rigid fixation of the bone fragments is best in treating severe fractures of the jaws. This is accomplished by drilling one or more steel pins or Kirschner wires longitudinally through the bone across each fracture site to firmly engage both fragments. The resulting steel skeleton within the bone transforms a shattered, limp jaw into a solid unit and maintains its integrity until bony union has occurred and the pins can be removed (Fig. 1).

The serious complications to be avoided in jaw fractures are osteomyelitis, nonunion, and malunion; all of them can be prevented by early accurate reduction and firm fixation. Wobbly fixation is no better in the jaws than in other fractures, and the end-results may even be worse. The rigidity of the internal fixation described here is due to the fact that the steel pins have such leverage advantage that the bone ends cannot move unless they first shear the metal

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