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Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2000 Oct;38(5):417-21.

Fractures of the mandibular condyle. Part 1: patterns of distribution of types and causes of fractures in 348 patients.

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Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark.


This prospective study was designed to record relevant characteristics of mandibular condyle fractures and to evaluate the relationship between these. Data were recorded on sex, age, cause of trauma, level of fracture, dislocation of the mandibular head, dental state and associated fractures of all patients diagnosed in our hospital during the period 1984-1996 with mandibular condyle fractures. Data were analysed in our Computer Department. The sample comprised 348 patients with 444 fractures, and a male:female ratio of 2:1. Traffic accidents were the most common cause: 103 (41%) of the unilateral and 54 (56%) of the bilateral fractures, followed by alleged assault and falls. Low fractures were the most common -n = 314 of 444 (71%). The causes that involved considerable force (traffic accidents and falls) resulted in more dislocations of the mandibular head, more bilateral fractures, a tendency to fractures higher on the condyle and significantly more intracapsular fractures. Absence of molar occlusion also gave more high and fewer low fractures, but played no part in dislocation of the mandibular head from the glenoid fossa.

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