Algorithm for Management of Mandibular Condylar Base Fractures

Erin C. Peterson, Dennis C. Nguyen, Ethan J. Baughman, Gary B. Skolnick, John J. Chi, Kamlesh B. Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Increasing evidence suggests that open reduction and internal fixation of condylar base fractures in adults results in improved outcomes in regard to interincisal opening, jaw movement, pain, and malocclusion. However, most of the condylar fractures are managed by maxillomandibular fixation alone due to the need for specialized training and equipment. Our aim was to present an algorithm for condylar base fractures to simplify surgical management. Methods: A retrospective review was performed of patients (n = 22) with condylar base fractures treated from 2016 to 2020. Patients who presented with operative fractures that require open treatment underwent 1 of 2 different techniques depending on the fracture type: a preauricular approach with a transoral approach if the condyle was dislocated (n = 2) or a transoral only approach (n = 20) in nondislocated cases. Operative time, occlusion, range of motion, and postoperative complications were assessed. Results: Condylar base fractures were combined with other mandibular fractures in 16 of 22 patients. Patients with condylar dislocation were managed with a preauricular approach with a secondary transoral incision (n = 2, median 147 minutes). Those without dislocation were treated with a transoral approach (n = 20, median 159 minutes). Most patients were restored to their preoperative occlusion without long-term complications. Conclusions: We present a simplified algorithm for treating condylar base fractures. Our case series suggests that reduction in operative time and clinical success can be achieved with open reduction and internal fixation using a transoral approach alone or in combination with a preauricular approach for dislocated fractures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E3145
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery - Global Open
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 24 2020


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