Extreme Jaw Injury Complications: A Case Report

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I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney. Those who have experience with oral surgery or complications with dental issues understand that problems with the jaw can be particularly serious. When people consider what they use their jaw for, speaking, eating, and breathing undoubtedly come to mind. This is why complications with jaw injuries are particularly severe. A recent case report helps to illustrate this exact point.

Mechanisms of Injuries to the Jaw: A Wide Variety

The lower half of the jaw is called the mandible and is responsible for many different movements of the human mouth. There are a variety of ways that someone can potentially suffer a traumatic injury to their jaw. Almost anyone can find themselves in any of the situations below, meaning that everyone needs to take note of how these mandible injuries occur so that they can prevent them from happening in the first place.

Auto Accident: It is very possible that someone can suffer a mandible fracture or a jaw injury in an auto accident. While there are airbags and seat belts available almost universally, this cannot stop every injury from occurring. If someone is involved in a particularly severe accident or is not wearing their seatbelt, their head could strike the steering wheel and they could suffer a bone fracture of their mandible.

Bicycle Accident: Most people are told to wear a helmet when they ride their bike from a very young age. While a helmet cannot prevent all injuries to the face, they can lessen the chance that someone breaks their jaw in a bicycle accident. If someone falls from their bike and strikes their face on the pavement, this external force can be enough to break someone's mandible.

Pedestrian Injuries: Even if people look both ways before crossing the street, it is possible that they could still get struck by a car or a bicycle, placing them in a particularly vulnerable situation. When this happens, they can smack their head on the hood of a car, the sidewalk, or any other nearby object. This can lead to serious pedestrian injuries which involve the jaw.

These are only a few of the many ways that someone can suffer a serious injury to the jaw; however, it is also important for everyone to note the complications that can develop as the jaw heals.

A Case Report Illustrates Complications with Jaw Injuries

While the mandible moves significantly more than the upper jaw, called the maxilla, both are still prone to developing complications with jaw injuries. A team of medical professionals has published a case report illustrating one of the most severe complications that might develop. A middle-aged male presented to a dental clinic with severe pain along the right half of his jaw. The only serious incident that he could remember was that he was involved in a particularly severe auto accident a couple of months prior. he had not worn his seatbelt and struck his head violently on the dashboard. He was taken to the emergency room and was diagnosed with a fracture of his maxilla; however, he never saw a physician following this ER visit to get the fracture repaired. When he arrived at the dental clinic and explained to the physician what had happened, he was taken to the back and received a CT scan. This scan demonstrated an almost complete necrosis of the right half of the maxilla. This means that the bone inside of his upper jaw was dying on the right-hand side. The patient was referred to the nearest maxillofacial surgeon so that the necrotic part of his jaw could be removed and that the remainder could be reconstructed. While medical technology has come a long way, removing half of someone's jaw is a particularly serious procedure which will seriously impact this patient's ability to eat, speak, and swallow. The half of the jaw that had been removed would be reconstructed as much as possible. The patient was then sent to rehabilitation to regain as much function in his jaw as possible.

Preventing Complications from Arising in the Future

This case illustrates a number of important points when it comes to maxillary and mandibular fractures. First, it is vital for patients to seek medical attention immediately if they have been diagnosed with fractures in their jaw. These complications could have been avoided had the patient visited a physician when they were told to do so. Finally, if complications have arisen as a result of a serious accident, it is helpful to speak with a legal professional. These can be expensive operations and the rehabilitation may not be covered. Everyone should know all of their options for paying for these types of procedures. If the injury resulted due to the negligence of another person, you may want to contact an experienced personal injury attorney in Sacramento who will help you recover compensation for your injury.


Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney, Ed Smith


Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in Sacramento

I’m Edward Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney. If you've been injured in an accident, call me for free, friendly advice at 916.921.6400.

The Million Dollar Advocates Forum of the greater California vicinity has welcomed me among their members. Many of the rankings of the country's top trial lawyers have mentioned our sector's members. The personal injury attorneys who are in our chapter have earned settlements and verdicts which have been calculated at over $1 Million dollars.

If you would like to view some of my verdicts and settlements they are here.

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Top Image Attribution: The mandible x-ray from the top has been used under the CC BY SA License, version 3.0, and was located originally on Wikimedia Commons

Final Image Attribution: Photo of Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney

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