Complications of mandibular fractures in an urban teaching center

Jennifer Lamphier, Vincent Ziccardi, Anthony Ruvo, Malvin Janel

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128 Scopus citations


Purpose: In this study, we compared the complications associated with open and closed treatment of mandibular fractures in an urban teaching center over a 4-year period. Patients and Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of mandibular fracture morbidity associated with treatment by the oral and maxillofacial surgery service between 1996 and 2000. A total of 721 fractures were recorded, with 594 fractures available for review. Perioperative and postoperative complications were assessed by reviewing patient charts, operative reports, and radiographs. Complications were classified by location, type of complication, and treatment modality. Standard statistical tests were used to assess differences between the groups. Results: Of the 594 fractures available for review, a total of 79 fractures were noted to have had a complication (13.3%). One hundred five complications were observed in the group of 79 fractures due to more than one complication being associated with a specific fracture (15.8%). Closed reductions accounted for the largest treatment group, representing 341 fractures with 26 complications (7.6%). Miniplate fixation was used in 97 cases, with 23 complications (23.7%). Mandibular plates with or without a superior border miniplate were used in 140 fractures, with 28 complications (20%). The most common complication was wound infection, which occurred in 35 fracture sites, followed by nonunion, which occurred at 30 sites. Conclusion: In an urban area with a high prevalence of poor living conditions, substance abuse, and poor patient compliance, the treatment of mandibular fractures by closed reduction resulted in the least number of postoperative complications in all anatomic regions of the mandible. The mandibular angle fracture had the highest overall morbidity rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)745-749
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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