Journal of Cranio-maxillo-facial Surgery vol:41 issue:7 pages:e137-45
A retrospective chart review of 387 patients with condylar and subcondylar fractures revealed 2 cases of inferior alveolar nerve (IAN) and lingual nerve (LN) anaesthesia following the subcondylar fracture. Only 5 cases have been reported previously. The mechanism of action remains unknown but a review of the literature and an analysis of 120 dry human skulls supported the hypothesis that compression of the mandibular nerve at a high level, close to the foramen ovale, could cause anaesthesia. This complication is rare, because it requires compression at a particular angle. The antero-median angulation of the condyle must be close to the foramen ovale, and the fracture must be a unilaterally displaced fracture. The presence of an enlarged lateral pterygoid plate appeared to enhance the risk of compression. The IAN and LN anaesthesia could be resolved after open reduction of the fracture and IAN and LN anaesthesia constitute a strict indication for an early open fracture reduction.