Internal mandibular fixation after resection of advanced oral cavity carcinoma with mandibulectomy has a significant complication rate. We placed the Joe Hall Morris (JHM) external mandibular appliance in 29 patients undergoing mandibulectomy for advanced oral cavity carcinoma. Fourteen patients received postoperative radiation therapy (RT). Three of 29 patients (10%) had complications associated with the JHM appliance: one patient had a broken connecting bar, a second had loosening of a single pin, and a third had loss of fixation requiring complete replacement of the appliance. Complications not associated with the appliance occurred in 8 patients (28%) including mandibular exposure (1), orocutaneous fistula (2), partial flap dehiscence (4), and flap necrosis (1). Oral continence was maintained in 26 patients, and occlusion was normal in 27. The appliance was removed in 12 weeks to 6 months in all patients. The JHM appliance allows for a reliable and rapid immediate fixation of the mandible with acceptable functional and aesthetic results, and no delay or interference with postoperative radiotherapy. Since the life expectancy of these patients is short, most do not require subsequent permanent fixation after removal of the appliance. © 1992 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.
- mandibular fixation
ASJC Scopus subject areas