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How common is it to have numbness of lower lip and chin after a broken jaw surgery?

Jul 2013
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Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement
Practicing since : 1996
Answered : 2148 Questions
How common is it to have numbness of the lower lip and chin after surgery to plate a broken jaw and how likely is this to recover please?
Posted Fri, 15 Nov 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. K. Naga Ravi Prasad 32 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Numbness is not uncommon in mandible fractures.

Detailed Answer:
Hi, thanks for writing to XXXXXXX

It is not uncommon to see Sensory disturbances (Numbness in the nerve injured area) after a mandibular fracture. As per the literature, it is seen in nearly 40-50% of the cases.

Numbness results due to the injury to either inferior alveolar nerve or the mental nerve. This injury might have been caused at the time of injury (the fractured bone fragments injuring the nerve) or during the time of surgical procedure (iatrogenic, either by the plate or screws causing injury to the nerve).

If it is a simple concussion injury (neuropraxia) of the nerve, it is likely to improve with time. It may take around 6-8 months to recover spontaneously.

If the nerve is severed or transected (axonotmesis or Neurotmesis), the chances of recovery are very low.

The extent of the severity of the nerve damage can be assessed by Nerve conduction studies.

Hope I have addressed your query. Happy to help further

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