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A Journal on Maxillofacial Trauma

Official Journal of the International Society of Maxillofacial Trauma




Journal of Maxillofacial Trauma 2013 December;2(3):61-8

language: English

Treatment of gunshot wounds to the mandible using an external fixation device

Bush B. 1, Philbert R. 2, Zola M. 2

1 Private Practicioner OMFS, CA, USA;
2 Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Department of Dentistry and OMFS Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center Bronx Affiliated with Weill Medical College of Cornell University New York, NY, USA


Injury secondary to low velocity projectiles, such as seen with urban gunshot injuries, presents a unique treatment challenge to the oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Recognizing that the destruction along the path of the projectile includes both hard and soft tissues, the maxillofacial surgeon has to use a variety of options for proper management. One of the tools that is extremely useful as a part of the treatment algorithm for these comminuted and avulsive injuries to the mandible is the external fixator. In this article we outline the use of the external fixator as a part of the proper staged treatment of avulsive injuries to the mandible secondary to GSWs. We present the history of the use of external pin fixation, its roots in orthopedic surgery, and indications and techniques for application. Two comprehensive case reports are presented, which include the final outcomes that have restored the patients to form and function ‑ the universal aim of all of our care.

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