Comparison of an intra-oral approach using a contra-angle hand piece with the transbuccal technique for mandibular angle fracture repair
De Waal, Andre Stephanus
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Purpose: To compare the intra-oral approach using a contra-angled hand piece with the standard transbuccal approach in the treatment of mandibular angle fractures. Patients and Methods: Thirty patients with isolated fractures of the mandibular angle were treated by open reduction and internal fixation using one three-dimensional “strut” or “geometric” Synthes® angle plate. Patients were selected randomly for placement of two-millimeter self-threading screws, either through the standard transbuccal technique or with an intra-oral approach using a contra-angle hand piece. None of the patients were placed into post-surgical maxillomandibular fixation (MMF). Swelling and pain were measured pre-operatively and again twenty-four hours after surgery. The actual cutting time from first incision to placement of last suture was documented, as well as the perception of difficulty of the specific case by a single operating surgeon. Results: No statistically significant difference in perception of pain was experienced between the two groups of patients during the first twenty-four hours after surgery. There was also no statistically relevant difference in cutting time between the two placement techniques. A small statistically relevant difference (p-value = 0.089) was found in the amount of swelling post-operatively between the two groups, with more swelling in the control group. Conclusion: The use of a contra-angle hand piece to place screws in the compression band area in a mandible angle fracture is an acceptable alternative to the transbuccal approach.