Is fixation of mandible fractures urgent?
Background: There are conflicting reports on the urgency of fixing mandible fractures. While some recommend fixation within the first 72 hours, others claim that repairs that are made as late as five days post-injury do just as well. Although delayed repair can be associated with compromised nutrition, poor hygiene, inflammation, scarring and contamination, a delay can also mean diminished facial swelling and facilitated exposure.
Explore this issue:May 2011
Study design: Literature review.
Synopsis: The authors reviewed five articles, two from The Laryngoscope and one each from Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Dental Traumatology. A study by Maloney and colleagues found that low infection rate was partly due to the timing of repair, i.e., within the first 72 hours (Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2001;59:879–884). Biller and colleagues noted a significantly greater rate of technical complications in a delayed treatment group (Laryngoscope. 2005;115:769–772).