Timely repair of mandibular fractures remains an effective means to reduce pain, restore function, and prevent complications. This study addresses the effect of the time interval between injury and treatment on the overall complication rate, the complication rate between various treatment modalities (mandibular-maxillary fixation [MMF] alone, MMF with intraosseous wire bone fixation, and MMF with rigid internal fixation), and the relationship of inpatient vs. outpatient management. Cost was also examined with respect to choice of management. We report a retrospective series of 308 consecutive patients managed at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital. Patients who received treatment 3 to 10 days following injury were found to have a lower complication rate than earlier or later repair. We postulate that most patients with mandibular fractures may be managed on an outpatient basis, which represents a considerable savings in cost.
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