Introduction: Surgical treatment of mandibular condyle fracture can offer functionally stable osteosynthesis, which enables early rehabilitation. However, there are few studies on this topic.
Aim: The aim of the present study was to evaluate mandibular movements and the remission of signs and symptoms following open reduction and internal fixation of mandibular condyle fractures with deviation.
Materials and methods: Thirty-one mandibular condyle fractures with deviation (with or without shortening of the mandibular ramus) were evaluated in 28 consecutive patients surgically treated with internal fixation. Most patients underwent a retromandibular approach and fixation with two nonparallel four-hole 2.0-mm miniplates and the remaining patients underwent a preauricular approach with positional screws. The patients were evaluated before surgery and through to 180 days postoperatively.
Results: An increase in the range of motion and complete recovery of mandibular movements occurred within the period studied ( p < 0.001). Lateral movements were recovered after 60 days postoperatively and progressive improvement in jaw opening and protrusion occurred through to 90 days. Significant remission occurred regarding the symptoms of difficulty chewing and swallowing and pain in the TMJ as well as signs of inadequate occlusion, facial asymmetry, edema and deviation upon mouth opening ( p < 0.001). No significant change in joint sounds was found ( p = 0.227). All the patients reported satisfaction with treatment.
Conclusion: Open reduction and internal fixation of mandibular condyle fractures with deviation led to the complete recovery of all mandibular movements, with the prompt, complete remission of signs and symptoms.
Key words : mandibular condyle; mandibular fractures; fracture fixation; internal; prospective studies