Natl Med J India 2014 Sep-Oct;27(5):251-5
PCentre for Dental Education and Research, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi 110029, India.
Background: Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) ankylosis due to undiagnosed condylar fractures has a high incidence in India compared to western countries. We evaluated the demographics, injury pattern, hospital reporting and referral pattern of undiagnosed condylar fractures complicating TMJ ankylosis in northern India.
Methods: We did a retrospective analysis by retrieving medical records of patients with post-traumatic TMJ ankylosis reporting to the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, All India Institute of Medical Sciences between 1 July 2012 and 30 June 2013.
Results: Of 90 patients with post-traumatic TMJ ankylosis, 74 (82.2%) resided in rural areas. Sixty-three (70%) patients were from the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand. Only 8.8% had higher education and 10% had an annual income of more than `2 lakh. In 69 (84.4%) patients, fall was the aetiological factor. Primary health centres (42%) and private clinics (20.5%) received the major share of patients immediately following injury. Few patients (19.3%) had some radiographic examination done and only 17% were referred by the primary healthcare provider. Of those referred only 3 were examined by a dental practitioner. Only 10% of all were diagnosed with condylar fractures.
Conclusion: Patients with TMJ ankylosis presenting to us have poor literacy and income levels. A missed diagnosis of condylar fractures by rural healthcare providers contributes to its high incidence in India. Improving awareness of clinicians and improved rural healthcare infrastructure can help prevent this complication.
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