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April 1993

Open Reduction-Fixation of Mandibular Subcondylar Fractures: A Review

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, University of California, Irvine (Drs MacArthur and Moore), and University of California, Davis (Drs Donald and Knowles).

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1993;119(4):403-406. doi:10.1001/archotol.1993.01880160049008

• From 1973 to 1990, 392 mandibular subcondylar fractures were treated at the University of California, Davis, by the Otolaryngology Department. Of these, 17% were handled by open reduction and internal fixation. Twenty-one patients from this group were located for follow-up at an average interval of 64 months. Retrospective review shows the operation to be safe, with few complications and no permanent sequelae. Patient examination often revealed abnormalities of occlusion and mandibular function; however, these objective findings did not correlate well with patients' relative lack of subjective complaints. An 86% incidence of roentgenographic evidence of condylar disease after open reduction and internal fixation was found. We question the long-term efficacy of open reduction and internal fixation in restoring fracture alignment and maintaining mandibular height given the high rate (86%) of condylar disease in our patient population.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1993;119:403-406)