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Int J Med Sci. 2008;5(6):313-8. Epub 2008 Oct 23.

The treatment of condylar fractures: to open or not to open? A critical review of this controversy.

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School of Dentistry, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil.


The treatment of condylar process fractures has generated a great deal of discussion and controversy in oral and maxillofacial trauma and there are many different methods to treat this injury. For each type of condylar fracture, the techniques must be chosen taking into consideration the presence of teeth, fracture height, patient's adaptation, patient's masticatory system, disturbance of occlusal function, deviation of the mandible, internal derangements of the temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) and ankylosis of the joint with resultant inability to move the jaw, all of which are sequelae of this injury. Many surgeons seem to favor closed treatment with maxillomandibular fixation (MMF), but in recent years, open treatment of condylar fractures with rigid internal fixation (RIF) has become more common. The objective of this review was to evaluate the main variables that determine the choice of method for treatment of condylar fractures: open or closed, pointing out their indications, contra-indications, advantages and disadvantages.


internal fracture fixation; jaw fixation techniques.; mandibular condyle; mandibular fractures; temporomandibular joint

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