Post Op instructions for Mandibular Fracture
Immediately following the repair of your fracture you may be wired shut. If so, this may feel very strange and frustrating. You will get used to this before long. We have given you wire cutters for you to keep on you at all times in case of an emergency. These are used to cut the loop wires in the front. Reasons to cut the wires would be prolonged vomiting, seizure, choking, or any concern that you may need. You will only need to cut a couple of the loops.
Your diet will be liquids. Anything you can drink will work. Remember to get your good calories from sources such a protein by adding protein to drinks or smoothies. Expect to lose some weight even if you get your protein.
Your may have been given liquid pain medication. If not you can use the pain medicine in pill form but should crush it and put in apple sauce or liquid. If you have a missing tooth or can slip it behind your last tooth you should be able to swallow a pill. However, you may want to try this after you are used to having your mouth wired for a while. You can combine this pain medicine with motrin or ibuprofen. You can use children’s motrin but will have to use a lot of it. Ibuprofen will definitely help with the discomfort in addition to the pain medicine. Ibuprofen helps block the pain molecules from forming and works on your pain from a different approach than narcotic pain medicine and is very helpful with this type of pain
You should have an antibiotic rinse that you will use 2x a day after brushing your teeth. You will use this for about a week. Be sure to brush your teeth 2x or more a day. Be careful if you have incisions in your mouth when brushing.
You may also have been given an antibiotic. This also may have been liquid. If not you may also open the capsule or crush the pill and place in apple sauce. The taste may be difficult and if you would like another prescription just call the office and we will call one in.
The duration you may be wired shut for up to 8 weeks depending on the fracture. We will see you periodically during your recovery and it is important that you show up for these visits so we can monitor your progress.
If a titanium plate was used, it will remain in place forever unless it becomes exposed or infected. You may be able to feel this under the skin. If your wires come loose, please call our office and let us know so we can appoint you to be evaluated and treated if necessary.
Expect some swelling after surgery especially if you had a plate placed. This swelling should peak at 3 days and taper off after a 7-10 days. Swelling that went away and then returns is not normal and should be brought to the attention of the doctor.
Bleeding should stop by the evening of surgery. Expect some bruising. Sutures may have been placed especially if a plate was used and they are blue or black will need to be removed at 7-10 days.
No contact sports until the fracture is healed which is usually about 6 months. Other sports such a track, swimming, tennis, golf, and hunting can usually be resumed after 6-8 weeks. Exceptions are possible and consult with your doctor about your case on your follow up appointment if you have any questions.