Does a Short Period of Maxillomandibular Fixation Decrease Complications in Open Reduction Internal Fixation of Mandibular Angle Fractures?

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Journal of oral and maxillofacial surgery : official journal of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons


PURPOSE: A short duration of postoperative maxillomandibular fixation (MMF) has the potential to reduce complications following open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) of mandibular angle fractures. The purpose of this study was to determine if a short duration of MMF is associated with a reduced rate of postoperative inflammatory complications (POICs) in patients with mandibular angle fractures undergoing ORIF. METHODS: The authors conducted a retrospective cohort study consisting of patients treated with ORIF for mandibular angle fractures from August 1, 2015 to May 31, 2020 at an urban, level 1 trauma center. Patients under the age of 18 years, bilateral angle fractures, those with MMF periods of more than 3 weeks, and those patients without documentation of the duration of MMF were excluded from the study. The primary predictor variable was the use of a short duration (less than 2 weeks) of postoperative MMF. The outcome variable of interest was the presence of POICs. Categorical covariates were compared using Fisher's exact tests, while continuous variables were compared using Wilcox rank-sum tests. Multivariable logistic regression adjustment was also performed. RESULTS: There were 307 patients included in the study, 84.4% of which were men. The average age was 32.5 years. Patients with a short duration of MMF had a POIC rate of 8.3% compared to 18.2% for no MMF (P = .08). In the adjusted analysis, patients with a short duration of MMF time had a significant decrease in POIC risk compared to no MMF (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 0.32, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.11 to 0.97). Other significant variables in the regression analysis included plating type and noncompliance. Inferior border rigid fixation was associated with decreased POIC risk compared to ladder plates and lateral border plates (aOR 5.8, 95% CI = 1.8 to 18.4 and aOR 5.1, 95% CI = 1.4 to 18.7, respectively). CONCLUSION: The findings from our study suggest that a short duration of postoperative MMF may reduce POICs following ORIF of mandibular angle fractures.

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