Objective To review our experience with miniplate fixation of fractures of the symphyseal and parasymphyseal regions of the mandible.
Methods A retrospective review of all mandible fractures treated from July 1, 1999, through July 31, 2011, by one of us (Y.D.) was performed. Intraoral, open rigid fixation of noncomminuted symphyseal and parasymphyseal fractures was performed using a combination of 2 miniplates that were either a 4-hole or a 6-hole miniplate using monocortical screws. The miniplates were 1-mm thick with a 2-mm screw diameter.
Results A total of 218 patients with noncomminuted symphyseal and parasymphyseal mandible fractures were included in this study. Eighteen patients (8.3%) with concurrent panfacial fractures and other indications were left in postoperative maxillomandibular fixation (MMF), whereas 200 patients (91.7%) did not require postoperative MMF. All patients in this series achieved bony union. The following complications were noted: plate exposure, 2.3%; malocclusion, 1.4%; wound infection, 1.4%; and tooth root injury, 0.9%. The use of postoperative antibiotics and either a nonlocking or locking system was not associated with significant differences in the rates of complications.
Conclusions For noncomminuted symphyseal and parasymphyseal mandible fractures, the application of 2 miniplates with monocortical screws offers good surgical outcomes in most patients with minimal complications. The advantages of using miniplates include easy plate adaptability, no need for MMF unless indicated, small screw diameter, and provision of adequate load-sharing rigid fixation for simple, noncomminuted symphyseal and parasymphyseal mandible fractures.