Condylar neck and sub-condylar fractures of the mandible are a frequent occurrence in maxillofacial surgery. The indication for surgical treatment of these fractures has changed over time, and several techniques have been developed with different results in the attempt to avoid the most worrisome adverse event, i.e., facial nerve injury. In this study, we present a new technique that combines an intraoral and a cutaneous pre-auricular access, which allows for easy and safe access to the surgical site, preventing facial nerve injury and avoiding surgical scars in high-impact aesthetic areas of the neck. Five consecutive patients affected by condylar neck or sub-condylar fractures were treated at a single institution using a combined intraoral and pre-auricular access. Results were evaluated after three months from surgery in terms of mandibular mobility, occurrence of complications, and patient’s satisfaction. All five patients had good outcome, with complete healing of the fracture and no occurrence of complications, including no facial nerve palsy. A key point of the technique is the safe reduction of the two mandibular fragments realized by a combined intraoral and a cutaneous pre-auricular surgical access. The periosteal plan of the ramus can be widely and safely elevated with the intraoral approach and connected to the condylar bone plane by the pre-auricular cutaneous approach without any need for soft tissue dissection at the fracture rim, thereby avoiding facial nerve injuries. Wide ramus periosteum elevation creates an “optical space”, allowing fragment reduction and fixation under direct oblique view without any endoscopic need. Our results strongly suggest that with our technique it is possible to treat sub-condylar and condylar neck fractures safely, avoiding facial nerve injury, which is an unacceptable complication due to its heavy impact on a patient’s life.
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