The study was performed to evaluate and compare the results of open and closed treatments of diacapitular fractures of the mandible. Following open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) 14 patients with 15 displaced condylar fractures, which had caused a shortening of the mandibular ramus, were examined clinically (Helkimo index), radiologically (Orthopantomogram, Clementschitsch [reversed Towne's] view, Submentovertex view) and axiographically (CARDIAX). These findings were compared to a group of 29 patients with 34 similar condylar fractures which had been treated using closed techniques. Following ORIF patients showed better radiological results with regard to the mandibular ramus height, resorption and pathological changes to the condyle, compared to the patient group after closed functional treatment. In both groups some signs of dysfunction persisted, although there were slightly better results in the ORIF group. In 30% of the closed treatment group, lateral deviation during mouth opening, crepitus and occlusal disturbances were noted. No cases of occlusal disturbance were observed in the ORIF group. The axiographic examinations revealed a significant limitation of movement of the fractured condyle in both groups. However, after open treatment, the temporomandibular joint displayed significantly less irregularities in the condylar paths. In cases of complex reconstruction of the mandibular condyle, ORIF appears to improve the function of fractured condyles, when combined with a postoperative therapeutic exercise regime.