Radiographic assessment of pediatric condylar fractures after conservative treatment with functional appliances—A systematic review

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: To evaluate the effectiveness of conservative treatment with functional appliances for condylar fractures in pediatric age. Methods: Four electronic databases (PubMed, EBSCO, Scopus, and Web of Science) were consulted with no restriction of publication status or year, up to 31 August 2020. Selection criteria: based on the PICOS criteria, the selection criteria were set for observational human studies, with at least 10 patients and six months of follow-up. The study population included pediatric patients (aged 5–16 years), with unilateral or bilateral condylar fracture, treated with functional appliances. Condylar remodeling and mandibular growth were analyzed through sequential radiographic examinations. Data collection and analysis: Two independent reviewers carried out title-abstract screening, and a senior investigator was involved to solve any disagreement. The quality of the evidence was assessed through the Canada Institute of Health Economics (IHE) quality appraisal checklist, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) quality assessment tool. Results: A total of 971 articles were retrieved from the electronic search; among them, three studies met the eligibility criteria. A moderate risk of bias was detected in all the studies, due to common limitations (absence of multicenter studies, prospective design, blindness of the investigators, patients’ drop-out). At follow-up examinations (between 6 months and 4.9 years), the difference of condylar neck length between the “injured” and “healthy” side was approximately 2 mm, while the anteroposterior condylar width discrepancy was recorded up to 1 mm. Conclusions: Short-and long-term data revealed that conservative treatment with functional appliances led to partial or full radiological recovery of the joint morphology, along with good to excellent functional results. Patients’ age has a crucial role on the treatment choice, and the type of fracture (presence of condylar displacement, or dislocation) is also a major prognostic indicator of the radiologic outcome. Limitation: To confirm the effectiveness of functional appliances, more prospective clinical long-term follow-up studies with homogeneous samples of condylar fractures are deemed necessary. Registration: The study protocol was registered on PROSPERO (CRD42020205650).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Bone remodeling
  • Children
  • Condylar fracture
  • Condylar remodeling
  • Cone-beam computed tomography
  • Conservative treatment
  • Functional appliances
  • Growth and development
  • Panoramic
  • Pediatric patients
  • Radiography


Dive into the research topics of 'Radiographic assessment of pediatric condylar fractures after conservative treatment with functional appliances—A systematic review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this