An 80-year-old woman was brought into our Level 1 Trauma Center after sustaining a ground-level fall with significant facial swelling. Her imaging revealed an acute traumatic comminuted fracture of the right mandibular condyle and left mandibular ramus. The patient underwent closed maxillomandibular fixation (MMF) to stabilize fractures, and allow the swelling to decrease for definitive fixation. During the definitive procedure, profuse bleeding was encountered. CT angiography evaluation was immediately performed and determined the presence of a left internal maxillary artery pseudoaneurysm which was successfully treated by coil and glue embolization.
This case highlights an unusual presentation of a vascular injury following major traumatic mandibular fracture and its management. Mandibular fractures have been reported in a series of cases to be a risk factor for vascular injuries. When a vascular injury is suspected, or the evaluation is unclear, surgeons should carefully determine the necessity to perform additional studies like CT angiogram. Vascular injuries secondary to mandibular fractures can be fatal if left unrecognized and untreated. Hence adequate recognition and treatment are warranted to avoid prolonged length of stay with bad outcomes.
Optimal management of pseudoaneurysms is achieved by endovascular approach with prior resuscitation and adequate hemodynamic stabilization. Open surgical management is deferred only for those cases where endovascular treatment is not available, or disruption is found intraoperatively.
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