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“Does Mandibular Condylar Morphology After Fracture Healing Predict Functional Outcomes in Patients Treated With Closed Reduction?”

Published:November 12, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joms.2021.11.008

      Purpose

      The purpose of the study is to assess the healing temporomandibular joint morphology and function after closed treatment of unilateral mandibular condylar fracture.

      Materials and Methods

      A prospective interventional cohort study was designed in patients recruited from the outpatient department who underwent closed reduction for unilateral condylar fractures, and mean mouth opening, mean maximum protrusion, laterotrusion, and radiological pattern of healing were noted.

      Results

      Forty patients in the age group of 18-50 years (mean 24.5 years) were included. The difference between the pretreatment mean mouth opening (26.94 mm), mean maximum protrusion (1.22 mm), and laterotrusion (3.82 mm and 1.45 mm) values and the 6-month post-treatment values (46.3 mm, 4.45 mm, and 11.82 mm and 9.82 mm, respectively) was found to be statistically significant (P < .001). Deranged pretreatment occlusion seen in 20 cases was improved in 18 patients (85%) at the 6-month post-treatment visit, with persisting malocclusion in 2 patients (5%). Clinically, cases that had healed with the anatomical pattern (M1) were found to have significantly better clinical outcomes (P value < .05) than that achieved with cases healed with spherical pattern (M2), L-shaped pattern (M3), or detached pattern (M4). On radiographs, the greatest improvement (21.16 mm) in mean mouth opening values was seen in the M1 group (anatomical pattern), followed by similar improvement in groups M2 and M3 (18.39 and 18.66 mm, respectively). Least improvement (7.06 mm) was seen in the single case of the M4 group (detached pattern), although the 6-month post-treatment value was still an acceptable one (34 mm).

      Conclusions

      Favorable functional outcomes can be achieved after closed treatment, including adequate mouth opening, pain-free jaw excursions, and stable occlusion, with the anatomical healing pattern showing the most superior results and the detached pattern being associated with relatively poorer outcomes compared with other healing patterns.
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