A classification of palatal fracture types is developed from patterns observed on CT scans, and success with open reduction techniques is correlated with fracture pattern. The six palatal fracture types are as follows: I, anterior and posterolateral alveolar; II, sagittal; III, parasagittal; IV, para-alveolar; V, complex; and VI, transverse. Associated fractures were LeFort I (100 percent), LeFort II and III (55 percent), mandible (48 percent), and dental (55 percent). Large segment, sagittally oriented palatal fractures could be stabilized with rigid internal fixation. Complete rigid fixation of the palate consists of (1) roof of mouth, (2) pyriform or alveolar, and (3) four LeFort I buttress stabilization. Comminuted palatal fractures were managed by standard LeFort I and alveolar buttress fixation, palatal splinting, and intermaxillary fixation. If complete rigid fixation was employed in the palate in type II, III, and IV fractures, a palatal splint was avoided in 60 percent of these cases. Rigid internal fixation is therefore concluded to facilitate the treatment of certain types of palatal fractures by reduced length of intermaxillary fixation and avoidance of palatal splinting.
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