JOURNAL ARTICLE
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A comparative study of the treatment of unilateral fractured and dislocated mandibular condyles in the rabbit.

This study evaluated the results of three methods of managing simulated unilateral dislocated fractured mandibular condyles in the rabbit. The first method consisted of surgical reduction of the fractured condyle to its anatomic position and its subsequent fixation with a titanium plate. The second method differed from the first by completely detaching the condyle, then replacing it as free graft. The third method left the fractured condyle in its dislocated position outside the glenoid fossa. Eighteen rabbits were used, 6 animals for each method. Half the animals in each group were killed at 4 weeks, the other half at 14 weeks postoperatively. Clinical, morphologic, functional, radiologic, and histologic examinations were conducted on all animals. The results indicated that open reduction with internal fixation with no disruption of the blood supply to the condyle provided the most favorable results. While closed reduction without internal fixation gave good functional results, definite reduction in ramus height on the operated site was observed in this group of animals. Animals that had open reduction and internal fixation using the condyle as a free graft did not do as well as the other two groups. Despite good mouth opening and occlusion, more animals showed facial asymmetry and it was more severe. None of the condyles were lost as result of necrosis, but healing took longer when compared with the other group of animals.

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