Mandibular body fractures can cause severe and long-term morbidity in the pediatric population. Nonetheless, there is insufficient data on the treatment and management of this specific fracture type in children. This study aimed to investigate the etiology, treatment, and outcomes of pediatric mandibular body fractures by analyzing our institution's experience managing these uncommon injuries
This was a 30-year retrospective, longitudinal cohort study of pediatric patients presenting to a single institution with isolated, unilateral, mandibular body fractures. Patient data was extracted from electronic medical records, while subgroup analysis was completed by dentition stage.
A total of 14 patients met inclusion criteria, of whom 8 (57.1%) had deciduous, 3 (21.4%) had mixed, and 3 (21.4%) had permanent dentition. Deciduous dentition patients with displaced, mobile or comminuted fractures underwent open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF), while those with nondisplaced and/or nonmobile fractures received soft diet or closed treatment with maxillomandibular fixation. For the mixed dentition cohort, all patients (100%) received closed treatment with maxillomandibular fixation. Among permanent dentition patients, most patients (66.6%) underwent ORIF regardless of fracture severity. The post-ORIF complication rate was 20% (dental maleruption).
Isolated, unilateral mandible body fractures are relatively uncommon in the pediatric population, and management differs by dentition stage and injury pattern. While isolated body fractures had considerable associated morbidity, this fracture pattern did not result in major growth restrictions or malformations.