A Prospective Follow-Up Research Assessing and Evaluating Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction in Postoperative Patients with Zygomatic Complex Fractures

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Aananya Mishra, Dharnappa Poojary, Mohan Baliga, Ananya Jha, Srikant N


Background: The zygomaticomaxillary complex (ZMC) fracture is the second most prevalent fracture of the mid-face skeleton owing to its craniofacial growth, surface texture, and proximity to the maxillary sinus; therefore, any trauma to that region leads to indirect injury to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) region, leading to TMJ dysfunction that generally goes unnoticeable. 

Aims and objectives: In this study, our goal was to identify the prevalence and features of TMJ dysfunction in patients treated surgically for ZMC fractures.  

Methodology: A prospective follow-up study on 60 patients with ZMC fractures was performed, who were managed surgically and clinically examined 6 months post-operatively using the Helkimo index and its sub-indices. 

 Results: Results showed a majority with no subjective symptoms (50/60), but around 44 patients had mild to moderate dysfunction of the TMJ, whereas none had severe clinical signs. There was a moderately positive correlation between the three indices of the Helkimo index. No significant association was found between the demographic variables and clinical findings of temporomandibular disorders (TMD).

 Conclusion: To conclude, following a ZMC fracture, physicians should be especially watchful for minor TMJ dysfunction. TMJ function should be assessed throughout the follow-up phase, and if required, referrals for TMD treatment should be made. 

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