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Ann Plast Surg. 2014 Sep;73(3):295-8. doi: 10.1097/SAP.0b013e31827a2ebd.

Therapeutic outcomes in the treatment of unilateral glenoid fossa fractures using intermaxillary elastic traction.

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From the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Guanghua School of Stomatology, Hospital of Stomatology, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China.



This study aimed to evaluate the therapeutic outcomes of intermaxillary elastic traction in the treatment of unilateral glenoid fossa fractures.


Five patients with traumatic unilateral glenoid fossa fractures were treated with intermaxillary elastic traction at the Sun Yat-Sen University Hospital of Stomatology during a 5-year period from 2006 to 2011. Pantomography and Schüller position radiographs were obtained at days 7, 28, and 90 to monitor glenoid fossa fracture healing. Removal of the intermaxillary elastic traction and the arch bar splint occurred at day 90, and the patients were advised to initiate mouth-opening exercises.


Schüller position radiographs revealed a 100% reduction rate of the glenoid fossa fracture for all patients; morphologies of the glenoid fossa and mandibular condyle were normal. Follow-up ranged from 6 months to 2 years. The occlusal relationship (degree of mouth opening) was excellent in all cases. Patient recoveries were uneventful; no complications occurred such as pain, snapping, or limitations of mouth opening. Average mouth opening was measured at 3.6 cm at the last follow-up.


Intermaxillary elastic traction is an effective, simple, and feasible method in the treatment of a glenoid fossa fracture. Accurate reduction and stable fixation may be achieved without significant complications.

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