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A new classification of palatal fracture and an algorithm to establish a treatment plan

A new classification of palatal fracture and an algorithm to establish a treatment plan

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 107(7): 1669-76; Discussion 1677-8

Palatal fractures have previously been classified according to the anatomic location of the fracture line, which is helpful for understanding the types of palatal fracture, but which is insufficient for helping the surgeon to decide which fracture to open and how to do so. The purpose of this study was to aid in the establishment of a precise treatment plan by determining the surgical approach and the types of stabilization that should be used for different types of palatal fracture. In a retrospective review of 136 consecutive Le Fort maxillary fractures over 6 years, 18 patients (13.2 percent) with palatal fractures were analyzed. The principle of open reduction and internal fixation was applied to all the patients. In six patients (33 percent), exploration and fixation was done in the palatal surface. Eight patients (44 percent) needed an extended period of immobilization (4 to 6 weeks). No major complications were observed during the follow-up period. An algorithm was devised to help establish a proper treatment plan, and palatal fractures were classified into four types: closed reduction, anterior treatment, anterior and palatal treatment, and combined. The key elements considered in deciding the treatment principle and the classification of a palatal fracture were the possibility of closed reduction, surgical exposure, site of rigid fixation, and stability of fractured segments after rigid fixation. The outcome of reconstruction and the postoperative course differed depending on the type of palatal fracture. This classification scheme provided an easy and simple way to establish a treatment plan and was helpful in learning the treatment principles of palatal fracture.

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Accession: 045079489

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PMID: 11391183

DOI: 10.1097/00006534-200106000-00006

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