, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 266-270
Date: 26 Nov 2005

Miniplate osteosynthesis of fractures of the edentulous mandible

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This study was performed to analyze treatment of fractures of the edentulous mandible and to discuss this method in relation to the mandibular height at the fracture site. Fifteen fracture sites in 11 patients with an edentulous mandible were retrospectively examined. These fractures were located: nine fractures in the mandibular body, three in the paramedian region, and three in the mandibular angle. Fractures in a mandible measuring more than 10 mm in the vertical height were treated with one miniplate. Fractures in an extremely atrophic mandible with 10 mm or less were treated using one or two miniplates, also using a modified Champy plate with 1.3 mm in thickness. A mandibular fracture with a height of 5 mm was treated with a combination of a microplate on the buccal side and a miniplate on the inferior border of the mandible with additional direct circumferential wiring. Oblique or splitting fractures were treated with direct circumferential wiring or a Herbert screw, at one fracture site each, respectively. Complications, including infection, fibrous union, nonunion and trismus, were not seen. In one patient, hypesthesia of the lower lip was, however, persistent 1 month after surgery. Miniplate osteosynthesis is the less invasive treatment, and it is suitable for fractures of the atrophic edentulous mandible, except for comminuted or defect fractures. To obtain stable fixation in severely atrophic mandibles, we need to consider the use of two miniplates or a combination with microplates.