The Mandible

The mandible is a U shaped bone comprising of two hemimandibles which are completely fused at the symphysis by the age of two years. The mandible articulates with the mandibular fossa of the temporal bone forming the temporomandibular joints. The image shows the anatomy of the mandible.

The shape of the mandible and the stability of the temporomandibular joints, leave the mandible particularly susceptible to direct lateral force [4]. The mandible may fracture at the site of impact, but also at another point within the ‘ring’ of bone formed by the mandible and skull. “ Some patients may have concurrent other maxillofacial and non-maxillofacial fractures [4].

The site of fracture is localised to three main areas; The most common site of fracture was the angle accounting for one third of the fractures, followed by the parasymphysis area and the condyles [4].

Learning Bite

It is good practice to look for other facial fracture sites in those with mandibular fractures.