Authors of section


Nicolas Homsi, Paulo Rodrigues, Gregorio Sánchez Aniceto, Beat Hammer, Scott Bartlett

Executive Editors

Edward Ellis III, Eduardo Rodriguez

General Editor

Daniel Buchbinder

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Revision - ORIF

1. Introduction

The surgical treatment of an early detected mal reduction consists of removal of plates and screws, proper reduction of the fracture with MMF and, reapplication of osteosynthesis material.

In case the proper fixation hardware was already chosen for the first surgery, slight modifications in the plate and/or the screw locations should be made to prevent mal reduction.

In case improper fixation hardware was applied during the first surgery, this is the time for selecting the appropriate device.

Malreduction of the condyle - Revision surgery - Open reduction and internal fixation

2. Approach

Ideally, for the secondary correction, the same approach is used as in the initial surgery.

When the original approach does not provide ideal exposure of the fracture site, the below approaches can be used.

Upper condylar fractures

For the condylar head and the superior part of the condylar neck, the preauricular approach may be selected.

For superior condylar neck and head fractures, a transoral approach with endoscopic assistance may be selected. However this requires formal training of the surgical team and specialized equipment.

Malreduction of the condyle - Revision surgery - Open reduction and internal fixation

Lower condylar fractures

For the lower part of the condylar neck, the retromandibular approach or...

Malreduction of the condyle - Revision surgery - Open reduction and internal fixation

...the submandibular approach may be selected.

Malreduction of the condyle - Revision surgery - Open reduction and internal fixation

3. Hardware removal

All of the previously installed internal fixation material is removed before the fracture is anatomically reduced and internal fixation reapplied.

Malreduction of the condyle - Revision surgery - Open reduction and internal fixation

4. Reduction and fixation

For further details on reduction and the fixation please refer to the trauma section.

To avoid mal reduction, care should be taken to obtain an anatomic reduction and make necessary modifications in the plate and/or the screw locations.

If the plate from the first surgical procedure is reused, further bending could result in metal fatigue (weakening of the plate), and the use of a second plate should be considered.

Malreduction of the condyle - Revision surgery - Open reduction and internal fixation

5. Aftercare following revision ORIF of the condylar process and head

If MMF screws are used intraoperatively, they are usually removed at the conclusion of surgery. Arch bars may be maintained postoperatively for functional therapy.

Postoperative x-rays are taken within the first days after surgery.

It is imperative that the occlusal relationship and mandibular function be assessed early and on a regular basis. The patient is evaluated at 1 week to verify the occlusion and to assure adequate performance of functional rehabilitation exercises.

If a malocclusion is detected, the surgeon must ascertain its etiology (using the appropriate imaging technique). If the malocclusion is secondary to surgical edema or muscle splinting, training elastics will be beneficial. The lightest elastics possible are used for guidance, because active motion of the mandible is desirable. Patients should be shown how to place and remove the elastics using a hand mirror.

If the malocclusion is secondary to a bony problem due to incorrect bone alignment (mal reduction) or hardware failure or displacement, elastic training will be of no benefit. The patient must return to the operating room for revision surgery. A slight malocclusion can be corrected by orthodontics or dental adjustments with the help of a dentist.

The frequency of follow-up will largely be based on the findings of the 1 week appointment. Typically, if the patient is doing well at 1 week, they will not be seen for 2 more weeks. The necessity and frequency of future appointments will be based upon the findings from this appointment.

Postoperatively, patients will have to follow three basic instructions:

1. Diet:
The patient can consume liquids and semiliquids for the first couple of weeks and then advanced to more solid foods as tolerated and recommended by the surgeon.

2. Oral hygiene
Patients with extraoral approaches are not compromised in their routine oral hygiene measures and should continue with their daily schedule.
Patients with intraoral wounds must be instructed in appropriate oral hygiene procedures. The presence of the arch-bars and any elastics makes this a more difficult procedure than normal. A soft toothbrush (dipping in warm water makes it softer) should be used to clean the surfaces of the teeth and arch-bars. Any elastics are removed for oral hygiene procedures. Chlorhexidine oral rinses should be prescribed and used at least three times each day to help sanitize the mouth. For larger debris, a 1:1 mixture of hydrogen peroxide/chlorhexidine can be used. The bubbling action of the hydrogen peroxide helps remove debris. A Waterpik® or similar device is a very useful tool to help remove debris from the wires. If a Waterpik is used, care should be taken not to direct the jet stream directly over intraoral incisions as this may lead to wound dehiscence. The assistance of a dental hygienist may be helpful.

3. Physiotherapy
Patients are instructed in physical therapy maneuvers to restore mandibular excursions. This includes maximum jaw opening, right and left lateral excursions, and protrusive excursions of the mandible, as well as assistance from a physiotherapist if required. They should perform these exercises several times a day.