The aim of this study was to assess the management of the condyle during the restoration of mandibular defects following tumour resection. A total of 41 patients who underwent simultaneous tumour resection and reconstruction with vascularized iliac myocutaneous flaps for mandibular defects, from September 2010 to October 2014, were included. These patients were divided into three groups: group 1, condyle preserved; group 2, condyle sacrificed; group 3, condyle frozen. Patients were followed up at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months for the evaluation of appearance, occlusion, and speech. The TMJ disability index (DI) and craniomandibular index (CMI) differed significantly according to the method of management, as well as the position and morphology of the reconstructed condyle (P<0.01); however, no statistically significant difference in mandible movement was observed between the groups. The DI and CMI values were significantly lower in group 1 patients compared to group 2 and group 3 patients. The results showed that TMJ function in group 1 patients was superior to that in group 2 and group 3 patients, and that function in group 3 patients was better than that in group 2 patients. In conclusion, the condyle should be preserved when benign mandibular lesions are situated near the condyle, as preservation has a positive effect on TMJ function and mandible movement.