Management of Isolated Zygomatic Arch Fractures and a Review of External Fixation Techniques.

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Introduction: Fractures of the zygomatic bone can present with complicated aesthetic and neurological pathology. Specifically, management of isolated zygomatic fracture has been sparsely discussed in the literature, and most studies are based upon older techniques. Here, we compare the results of 2 critical operative techniques as well as review the available literature in the setting of isolated zygomatic fractures.

Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed at our institution from 2010 to 2018 examining for patients who had sustained an isolated zygomatic fracture confirmed by computed tomography scan. Patients were excluded if they sustained additional maxillofacial fractures. Demographical information, symptoms on presentation, fracture management modality, and postoperative course were all collected and examined.

Results: A total of 218 patients were identified for inclusion. The average age of this cohort was 45.5 ± 18 years, with 77.5% being male. Assault (55%) was most the frequent cause of injury with accidents being the least common (17.9%). Most patients (78.8%) underwent nonoperative management. Patients who underwent operation more often presented with zygomatic deformity (97.7% vs 18.4%), paresthesia (29.5% vs 2.9%), and trismus (29.5% vs 6.9%) when compared to their nonoperatively managed counterparts. In all, 44 operatively managed patients underwent open reduction with or without eternal fixation (Gillies Approach vs Keen Approach). There were no significant differences in the presence of zygomatic deformity, paresthesia, and trismus between the 2 operative techniques.

Conclusions: Isolated zygomatic arch fractures can present with discerning symptoms. Unfortunately, the literature on appropriate management is not well described. We find external fixation to provide reestablishment of both form and function with minimal required exposure, although the outcomes may be similar without the use of external fixation.


This article was published in Craniomaxillofacial Trauma and Reconstruction, Volume 13, Issue 1, pages 38-44.

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Copyright © 2020 The Author(s).

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Craniomaxillofacial Trauma and Reconstruction

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