IMF-screws or arch bars as conservative treatment for mandibular condyle fractures: quality of life aspects

B. van den Bergh, J.J. de Mol van Otterloo, T. van der Ploeg, D.B. Tuinzing, T. Forouzanfar

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Arch bars as treatment for a fractured mandibular condyle are inconvenient to patients and lead to lowered quality of life (QOL). To overcome these inconveniences, IMF-screws (IMFS) to facilitate intermaxillary fixation during surgery have been developed. The purpose of the present study is to investigate and compare QOL for patients treated for a fractured mandibular condyle with either IMFS or arch bars.

Material and methods
This research trial was conducted from 2010 to 2014 as part of an earlier prospective, multicenter, randomized clinical trial in which the use of IMFS was compared to the use of arch bars in the treatment of mandibular condylar fractures.

In total, 50 patients were included: 30 (60%) male patients and 20 (40%) female patients (mean age: 31.8 years, standard deviation [SD] = 13.9 years, range = 18-64years). A total of 24 (48%) patients were allocated in the IMFS group, and 26 (52%) patients were assigned to the arch-bars control group. Significant results were observed in the subscales social isolation, possibility to eat and vary diet, influence on sleep, and satisfaction with the given treatment, all in favour of IMFS.

In conclusion, using IMFS as a method for conservative treatment of condylar fractures led to a higher QOL during the 6-week period of fracture healing. In comparison to arch bars, patients treated with IMFS experienced less social isolation, had fewer problems with eating, and express the feeling they are able to continue their normal diet. Furthermore it seems that the use of IMFS has a lower negative impact on social and financial aspects of the patient.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1004-1009
JournalJournal of Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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