A sagittal fracture of the mandibular condylar head (SFMCH) has a vertical fracture line that is parallel to the mandibular ramus. The aim of this study was to discriminate the clinical features of an SFMCH compared with a condylar neck fracture.
The study subjects were nine patients from our clinic who had an SFMCH caused by a fall (V-Group). As controls, we also selected 14 cases of condylar neck fracture caused by a fall (N-Group). We evaluated the following characteristics: gender, age, circumstances when injured, occlusal condition, imaging results, treatment, and outcome.
The two groups were not significantly different in terms of gender or age. Regarding circumstances when injured, six patients in the V-Group were injured while unconscious, whereas only one patient in the N-Group was injured while unconscious; this between-group difference was statistically significant. All V-Group patients and nine N-Group patients had molar occlusions; this between-group difference was not significant. Conservative treatment was adopted for all patients; after a few days of local rest, active jaw movement exercises continued for several months. Regarding prognoses, the V-Group showed good results comparable with those of the N-Group.
An SFMCH presumably occurs when an upward traumatic force acts on the lower margin of the mandibular bone. Thus, many patients are injured due to falls while unconscious. Furthermore, some additional factors, such as molar occlusion and anatomical conditions of the condylar head, may make an SFMCH more likely