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Fixation of mandibular angle fractures: in vitro biomechanical assessments and computer-based studies

  • Chrcanovic, Bruno Ramos1
  • 1 Malmö University, Department of Prosthodontics, Faculty of Odontology, Malmö, 205 06, Sweden , Malmö (Sweden)
Published Article
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Publication Date
Oct 14, 2012
DOI: 10.1007/s10006-012-0367-0
Springer Nature


PurposeThe purpose of this study was to review the literature regarding the evolution of current thoughts on fixation of mandibular angle fractures (MAFs), based on in vitro biomechanical assessments and computer-based studies.MethodsAn electronic search in PubMed was undertaken in August 2012. The titles and abstracts from these results were read to identify studies within the selection criteria. Eligibility criteria included studies from the last 30 years (from 1983 onwards).ResultsThe search strategy initially identified 767 studies. Thirty-one studies were identified without repetition within the selection criteria. Two articles showing significance in the development of treatment techniques was included. Additional hand searching yielded five additional papers. Thus, a total of 38 studies were included.ConclusionsThe osteosynthesis positions as well as the plating technique play important roles in the stability of MAF repair. The only in vitro study evaluating the use of wire osteosynthesis concluded that wires placed through the lower border approach would provide greater stability than those at the upper border. Many studies indicate that the use of two miniplates avoids (or decreases) lateral displacement of the lower mandibular border and opening of the inferior fracture gap. Some studies even suggest that the use of two miniplates may be considered a more “rigid” fixation technique for MAFs than the use of a reconstruction plate. When using two miniplates, the biplanar plate orientation provides greater biomechanical stability than the monoplanar one. However, despite its greater biomechanical stability, the two-miniplate technique has some disadvantages that should also be taken into account. Studies with biodegradable plates suggest the use of at least two plates for each MAF. There are few studies with compression plates, and they have not yet reached a consensus. The solitary lag screw proved to withstand the functional loading of the mandible; however, only few biomechanical assessments were performed. In vitro studies have shown good biomechanical stability with the use of 3-D grid plates. The use of malleable miniplates alone is not sufficient to withstand the early postoperative bite force. Some studies suggest that the segment of the tension band miniplate located at the distal fragment of the MAF should be fixed with three screws. The studies also showed some limitations. None considered the stabilization of the fracture site afforded by the masseter–pterygoid muscle pouch. Most of the studies did not evaluate plating system strength in the long term and therefore did not observe the effect of resorption on the strength of the different biodegradable plating systems. Another limitation of many studies is the absence of a control group. A confounding factor that could not be tested in in vitro investigations is the additional resistance to displacement of jagged fracture margins present in the human fracture.

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