A review of all patients with treated mandibular angle fractures at a district general hospital, over a two year period, was undertaken. Forty one consecutive patients with 43 mandibular angle fractures were identified. Thirty eight fractures were treated by open reduction and internal fixation with miniplates and 5 by intermaxillary fixation (IMF).
Fractures treated with miniplates were reduced under direct vision to give an anatomical reduction without using temporary intermaxillary fixation. The shortened operative time together with the prompt administration of intravenous antibiotics following injury and rapid treatment of fractures after admission resulted in a low complication rate of 7.3% of patients requiring a subsequent surgical procedure. Although IMF has an important role to play in the general treatment of facial fractures, we suggest that there is a place for single miniplate fracture fixation without the use of temporary IMF when treating simple angle fractures. As this technique is quick and has a low complication rate its use in military situations should be considered.
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