Are you overlooking fractures of the mandibular condyle?

R. W.T. Myall, G. K.B. Sandor, C. E.B. Gregory

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Fractures of mandibular condyle may be overlooked because attention is often focused on readily apparent soft tissue injury such as lacerations and abrasions. Clinical and radiographic signs are often subtle, but the injuries caused by rapid deceleration and listed in Table 2 will serve to alert the pediatrician to the possibility of such fractures. All children in these circumstances should be carefully examined for dental occlusion and the preauricular area palpated to help formulate a clinical diagnosis. Additional evidence is gained from the finding of deviation or limitation of the jaw upon opening or edema in the preauricular area. If any of these yield abnormal findings, a good quality series of mandibular radiographs will be needed to confirm the diagnosis. Overlooking a condylar fracture may commit a child to unsightly facial asymmetry, marked malocclusion, or ankylosis requiring invasive surgery for correction. Consultation with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon or other interested specialist should be sought while the patient is still in the emergency room.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)639-641
Number of pages3
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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