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ITALIAN JOURNAL OF MAXILLOFACIAL SURGERY
Rivista di Chirurgia Maxillo-Facciale
Official Journal of the Italian Society of Maxillofacial Surgery
EDITORIAL THE TEMPOROMANDIBULAR JOINT
Italian Journal of Maxillofacial Surgery 2010 December;21(3 Suppl. 1):57-60
Surgical treatment of mandibular condylar fractures: long-term outcomes
Boffano P., Gerbino G., Bosco G. F., Roccia F., Tosco P., Ramieri G.
Division of Maxillofacial Surgery, Head and Neck Department, San Giovanni Battista Hospital, University of Turin,, Turin, Italy
Aim. Open treatment of condylar fractures tends to show better results in objective and subjective functional parameters than closed treatment. The aim of this study was to assess and discuss the long-term outcomes of open reduction and internal fixation performed via an extraoral approach.
Methods. Two hundred four patients were treated via extraoral approaches for condylar fractures. Fifty patients with a total of 57 treated condylar fractures with complete documentation were recalled for clinical and radiological examinations and included in this study.
Results. Excellent recovery of mandibular function was observed, with good Helkimo indeces scores. Twelve percent of our patients reported temporary weakness of the facial nerve and just 4% had mild permanent facial nerve palsy Severe condylar remodeling was observed in only 8% of the patients. Plate fractures were observed in 4 cases. Three patients with Frey’s syndrome were identified at the long-term follow-up examination. Patients showed stable and satisfactory occlusion
Conclusion. Surgical treatment of condylar fractures allows an almost complete recovery of function, and occlusion with few complications. However, some difficulties and potential risks remain and must be weighed carefully against its potential benefits.