Background: The purpose of this study was to identify factors associated with the decision to perform open reduction and internal fixation of mandibular condylar fractures. Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study of patients with mandibular condylar fractures managed by the plastic and reconstructive surgery, oral and maxillofacial surgery, and otorhinolaryngology services over a 15-year period. Bivariate associations and a multiple logistic regression model were computed for injury characteristics that were associated with open reduction and internal fixation. For all analyses, a value of p ≤ 0.05 was considered significant. Results: Six hundred fifty-four condylar injuries were identified in 547 patients. The sample's mean age was 36.0 ± 16.5 years, 20.5 percent were women, and 63 percent were Caucasian. The most common mechanisms of injury were motor vehicle collisions (49 percent), 53.4 percent involved the subcondylar region and 20 percent were bilateral injuries. Associated noncondylar mandibular fractures were present in 60 percent of cases; 20.7 percent were managed with open reduction and internal fixation. The overall complication rate was 21.6 percent. In a multiple logistic regression model, factors associated with an increased likelihood of open reduction and internal fixation were the presence of extracondylar mandibular injuries, condylar neck or subcondylar region injuries, increasing dislocation, and treatment by plastic and reconstructive surgery/oral and maxillofacial surgery (p ≤ 0.04). Conclusions: Increasing severity of mandibular injury, lower level of fracture, joint dislocation, and treatment by plastic and reconstructive surgery/oral and maxillofacial surgery are associated with open reduction and internal fixation of mandibular condylar injuries.
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