This retrospective study evaluated the potential influence of the sagittal fracture pattern and articular disc displacement on the development of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) ankylosis. 33 sagittal fractures of mandibular condyles (SFMCs) in 19 patients were treated conservatively and were divided into non-ankylosis and ankylosis groups based on their prognosis. Using computed tomography (CT) images, the SFMCs were classified into types I, II and III, and the displacement of the articular disc was investigated using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). There were 19 (58%) SFMCs in the non-ankylosis group: 5 were type I SFMCs, which did not show any disc displacement; the other 14 were type II SFMCs, which included 5 cases without disc displacement and 9 cases with disc displacement. In the non-ankylosis group, the lateral poles were completely or incompletely covered by the discs. There were 14 (42%) SFMCs in the ankylosis group, all of which were type III SFMCs showing disc displacement, and the lateral poles in these cases were not covered by the discs. This investigation confirmed that the disc position was highly associated with the position of the fractured fragment and that some SFMC patterns, especially type III SFMCs, indicated a high risk of TMJ ankylosis.
Copyright © 2010. Published by Elsevier Ltd.