Facial plast Surg 1998; 14(1): 31-44
DOI: 10.1055/s-0028-1085300
© 1998 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc.

Pediatric Mandibular Fractures

John M. Schweinfurth, Peter J. Koltai
  • Department of Surgery, Albany Medical College, Albany, New York
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Publication History

Publication Date:
26 August 2008 (online)


Over the last 20 years, a revolution in the management of facial fractures has taken place. Refinements in biocompatible materials of great delicacy and strength along with advances in our understanding of biomechanics of the face, have rendered complex injuries consistently amenable to accurate 3-dimensional reconstruction, Furthermore, with the availability of education in the techniques of internal rigid fixation, these advanced techniques have become routine practice in adults. However, the suitability of rigid internal fixation for children remains controversial. There are many concerns about the effect of implanted hardware in the mandible of a growing child. In addition, some evidence suggests that the elevation of functional matrix off of bone may result in alterations in development. The goal is to restore the underlying bony architecture to its pre-injury position in a stable fashion, with a minimal of aesthetic and functional impairment. However, in children the treatment of bony injuries is most easily accomplished by techniques that may adversely effect craniofacial development. While it is not entirely possible to resolve this dilemma, there exists an extensive body of experimental and clinical information on the appropriate management of pediatric mandibular fractures which can be used to formulate a rational treatment plan for most cases. This paper presents an overview of the contemporary understanding and application of these treatment principles.