Feasibility of Purely Endoscopic Intramedullary Fixation of Mandibular Condyle Fractures

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Abstract

The investigators of this study hypothesized that fractures of the mandibular condyle can be repaired using short-segment intramedullary implants and purely endoscopic surgical technique, using a basic science, human cadaver model in an academic center. Endoscopic instrumentation was used through a transoral mucosal incision to place intramedullary implants of 2 cm in length into osteotomized mandibular condyles. The surgical maneuvers that required to insert these implants, including condyle positioning, reaming, implant insertion, and seating of the mandibular ramus, are described herein. Primary outcome was considered as successful completion of the procedure. Ten cadaveric mandibular condyles were successfully repaired with rigid intramedullary internal fixation without the use of external incisions. Both insertion of a peg-type implant and screwing a threaded implant into the condylar head were possible. The inferior portion of the implant remained exposed, and the ramus of the mandible was manipulated into position on the implant using retraction at the sigmoid notch. The results of this study suggest that purely endoscopic repair of fractures of the mandibular condyle is possible by using short-segment intramedullary titanium implants and a transoral endoscopic approach without the need for facial incisions or punctures. The biomechanical advantages of these intramedullary implants, including improved strength and resistance to mechanical failure compared with miniplates, have been recently established. The combination of improved implant design and purely endoscopic technique may allow for improved fixation and reduced surgical- and implant-related morbidity in the treatment of condylar fractures.

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