Immediate versus delayed surgical management of septic mandibular fractures
Aim: The aim of the study was to compare immediate and delayed surgical management of septic mandibular fractures. Introduction: Infected mandible fractures can be treated via diverse protocols. Two recognized protocols are the so-called delayed approached and the immediate approach. In the delayed approach, sepsis is resolved first, followed by surgery. With the immediate approach, the sepsis is first drained, followed by open reduction and internal fixation of the jaw fracture in one continuous surgical procedure. Material and methods: 20 clinical cases where included in the study. Patients were randomly selected and assigned to the two treatment protocol groups. Pain, vital signs, fracture union, fracture stability, surgical time, hospital time, follow-up visits and patients’ demographics were recorded. Results: No statistically significant findings were made in the analysis of the demographic data and clinical parameters relating to the sepsis. The only significant data were related to the surgical time and hospital time. It was found that the advantages of the immediate approach versus the delayed approach related only to shorter surgical time and less days spent in hospital for the immediate approach. Conclusion: Septic mandibular fractures can be managed either by an immediate or a delayed approach. The immediate surgical approach seems to have an advantage over the delayed approach regarding the surgical time and hospital admission days.