The aim of this case report is to point out follow-up insufficiency as a contributing factor of ankylotic development after condylar fractures as well as the significance of clinicians’ familiarity with this complication and its prevention. Condylar fractures require close follow-up due to the potential emergence of delayed and distressing complications, such as ankylosis, regardless of their proper initial treatment. Regular follow-up for a minimum of 18 months is of crucial importance for the prevention of ankylosis. The clinician’s contribution in alerting his patients could be considerable, given he or she is aware of the development of this complication. The case of a 17-year-old patient with bilateral condylar fractures and a mental fracture is presented. He was successfully treated with mental osteosynthesis and intermaxillary fixation. Strict instructions for kinesiotherapy were given and constant re-examinations were made, but the patient’s compliance was poor. This resulted in his readmission 2 years later with a great limitation of mouth opening (0.5 cm), demanding more serious surgical procedures. Follow-up insufficiency could be identified as a contributing factor to traumatic temporomandibular joint ankylosis. Intense surveillance and harmonious collaboration is dictated from both the clinician and patient to prevent any untoward development. Orthodontics (Chic) 2011;12:134–139.
Key words: condylar fractures, temporomandibular joint,
follow-up, complications, ankylosis