Objective: The purpose of this study is to evaluate and document the neurosensory changes in the distribution of inferior alveolar nerve associated with mandibular fracture fixation.
Patients and Methods: This was a evaluation carried out in the Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Indira Gandhi Government Dental College, Jammu from July 2019 to July 2021. A total of 40 patients were included in the study as per the inclusion criteria. All these forty patients had fractures of the mandible between the lingula and the mental foramen. They were then evaluated with respect to the etiological factors, fracture displacement, neurosensory deficit, subjective findings, objective findings and the treatment employed to treat the mandibular fractures. The standard treatment protocol applied was either closed reduction or open reduction with internal fixation under local anaesthesia or general anaesthesia.
Results: The subjective neurosensory deficit was seen in 12 (30.0%) subjects and the Objective Neurosensory Deficit was seen in 21 (52.5%) subjects. The displacement of fracture less than 5mm was seen in 23 (57.5%) patients, displacement more than 5mm was seen in 7 (17.5%) patients and no displacement was seen in 10 (25.0%) patients. The treatment CR with MMF was done for 33 (82.5%) patients and ORIF was done for 7 (17.5%) patients. Thirty three patients out of the total 40 patients who were treated by closed reduction and MMF, reported no residual paresthesia.
Conclusions: Open reduction and internal fixation, fracture displacement of 5 mm or more and severity of nerve injury were associated with an increased risk for deterioration of the IAN neurosensory deficit after treatment of mandibular fractures and in majority of patients with IAN injury, sensory function recovered in 3 months.