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J Craniomaxillofac Surg. 1999 Aug;27(4):235-42.

Clinical and radiological evaluation following surgical treatment of condylar neck fractures with lag screws.

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  • 1Klinik und Poliklinik für Mund-, Kiefer- und Gesichtschirurgie, Technischen Universität Dresden, Germany.


It was the purpose of this study to evaluate the outcome of lag screw osteosynthesis in severely displaced fractures or fracture dislocations of the mandibular condyle as well as intra- and postoperative complications of this technique. From 1980 to 1996 a total of 492 patients with condylar fractures were treated with lag screw osteosynthesis. Clinical and radiological follow-ups were carried out in 230 patients with severely displaced fractures or fracture dislocations of the mandibular condyle. The period between surgery and follow-up was between 6 months and 2 years. The majority of the clinical results were satisfactory presumably due to the anatomically exact reduction of the fragment (93.4%). Extreme anatomic variations of the mandible (5.8%) and incorrect application of the technique (8.8%) resulted in reduced functional stability of lag screw osteosynthesis. Insufficient fragment reduction and postoperative complications (such as wound infection) entailed restriction of mandibular mobility and arthrotic deformations were seen as persistent radiological irregularities of the mandible. It has been possible to avoid complications and to achieve favourable functional results in complicated fractures of the mandibular condyle by applying strict indications for lag screw osteosynthesis and by considering the individual anatomical peculiarities.

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