Rapid IMF System - Temporary Mandibular Fixation Device
Most fracture treatments in the mandible or midface area will affect the dental occlusion and require temporary maxillo-mandibular or intermaxillary fixation (IMF). Although the well-established arch bar and circumdental wiring, and peralveolar screw systems provide good results for the benefit of the patient, frequent stick injuries due to the sharp stainless steel wires and the possibility of transmission of infectious diseases has led to the request by surgeons for a safer system.
The Rapid IMF System has been developed in response to this request. This device is an innovative, adjustable flexible band, which is wrapped around individual teeth, similar to an orthodontic band. A long elastic chain is then looped around the strategically placed brackets to achieve IMF.
Rapid IMF is indicated for fracture reduction to assist in the operative treatment of simple nondisplaced, comminuted fractures in the mandible, maxilla, or both, where there is a sufficient occlusion to guide reduction. Rapid IMF is not a replacement for arch bars and wire. It can however, be used instead of arch bars in some specific instances. Case selection is of utmost importance. If used correctly, the Rapid IMF will provide a fast and safe IMF method without the risk of needlestick injuries for the surgeon.
To apply the Rapid IMF, at least six, preferably eight points are chosen for the placement of the nylon anchorage ties. After tightening and excess removal of all belts, a link of the elastic chain is passed over an anterior anchorage point and is looped over all anchorage ties in a zigzag manner and secured over an easily accessible upper anterior anchorage point.
It is very important to remember that Rapid IMF is designed only for routine trauma cases requiring temporary splintage. It would not be appropriate for comminuted fractures or orthognatic procedures, both of which might require a more prolonged maxillo-mandibular fixation period. The Rapid IMF ties are usually removed in the immediate perioperative period. If the surgeon chooses to leave them for a more prolonged period, close follow-up at regular intervals is mandatory to prevent damage to the teeth and supporting structures.
- Preoperative fixation
- Perioperative fixation
- Short-term (up to 3 weeks) fixation for minimally displaced fractures
- Splintage of post-jaw dislocation
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