Endoscopic approach to maxillofacial trauma
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Endoscopic approaches to maxillofacial trauma have included their use in temporomandibular joint arthroscopy, zygomatic arch repair, repair after orbital trauma, repair of frontal sinus fractures, and finally in the repair of subcondylar mandibular fractures. These techniques provide exciting new options for the management of facial fractures. Many of the techniques provide a steep learning curve and require specialized equipment. The approach to an orbital blowout fracture allows the use of a Caldwell-Luc approach and the use of a naturally occurring body space (the maxillary sinus) for the visualization and maneuvering of the endoscope, tools, and implants. The use of the endoscope in the management of fractures for facial structures such as mandibular subcondylar fractures, which do not have a naturally occurring body cavity, may present greater challenges when trying to obtain visualization, reduction, and fixation. When used for the treatment of subcondylar fractures, wide exposure and the use of right-angled drills and screw drivers may significantly help with this procedure. This may be considered by some surgeons as an endoscopically "assisted" procedure that can possibly be accomplished with direct visualization and the use of dental mirrors. It remains to be seen as to whether some of these diverse endoscopic applications will represent the standard of care in the future or remain a specialized technique practiced by a minority of surgeons in a few specialized centers. This article reviews various endoscopic applications to maxillofacial trauma and discusses some of the controversies of these techniques.
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