Minimizing the Submandibular Incision in Endoscopic Subcondylar Fracture Repair

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Abstract

Endoscope-assisted treatment of mandibular condylar fractures is an evolving surgical technique of this controversial subject. The approach is performed through an intraoral and additional submandibular incision. This study presents a technique for minimizing the length of the optional submandibular incision. Ten patients with displaced subcondylar fractures and malocclusion underwent endoscope-assisted open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF). A limited (<1 cm) submandibular incision (dissected under endoscopic guidance from within) was needed in eight patients to complement the intraoral incision and facilitate the reduction in the fractures. Satisfactory small scar could be obtained in all patients with neither wound complications nor facial nerve injuries. Our technique depends on dissection first then incision. Performing the external incision after complete intraoral dissection is safe for the facial nerve and minimizes scarring markedly. This very limited submandibular incision facilitates reduction in relatively difficult cases and enables clear visualization of posterior border of the mandible to confirm adequate fracture reduction.

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