Surgical complications with open treatment of mandibular condylar process fractures

Edward Ellis, David McFadden, Patricia Simon, Gaylord Throckmorton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

216 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study assessed the surgical complications after open treatment for fractures of the mandibular condylar process. Patients and Methods: A total of 178 patients with unilateral fractures of the mandibular condylar process, 85 treated closed and 93 treated open, were included in this study. A tabulation of surgical findings and intraoperative and postoperative complications was prospectively performed. Standardized animating facial photographs were obtained at several postsurgical intervals and were examined and scored by a prosthodontist and an orthodontist for signs of facial nerve palsy and the quality of the surgical scar. Standard statistical methods were used to assess differences between open and closed treatment groups. Results: There were very few intraoperative or postoperative complications. At the 6-week point, 17.2% of patients treated open had some weakness of their facial nerve. This had resolved by 6 months. The scars were judged either wide or hypertrophic in 7.5% of cases. Conclusions: Based on this study, surgical complications of open treatment of condylar process fractures that lead to permanent dysfunction or deformity are uncommon. (C) 2000 American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)950-958
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oral Surgery
  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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