The gunshot wound to the mandible is a unique traumatic injury. The resultant injury from the gunshot wound is diverse because of the variability of the projectile, motion, velocity, and tissue characteristics. When a high-velocity projectile strikes the mandible, often times the wound will consist of a severely comminuted mandible surrounded by nonvital soft tissues and the implantation of multiple foreign bodies. This represents a challenge for the treating surgeon. The anatomy and function of the mandible make it such that the care of the gunshot wound requires a combination of trauma and reconstructive surgeries. There are varying techniques advocated for the management of gunshot wound to the face. However, for the comminuted mandible fracture sustained from a gunshot wound, an approach involving the fabrication of an occlusal splint, intermaxillary fixation, aggressive debridement of hard and soft tissues, and immediate reconstruction with a titanium plate is a comprehensive approach that can restore the appropriate function and contour of the patient. At the Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Miami, this approach to the comminuted mandible fracture secondary to the gunshot wound has led to the effective management of this specific subset of injury. The complication rate is comparable with the current literature and provides an advantage as a 1-stage management to restore appropriate function and cosmesis to the patient.
- Gunshot wound
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