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Zip-Tie Technology Advances Jaw Fracture Management

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 22 Aug 2018
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Image: Blunt-tipped Minne Ties are being used to hold a patient\'s teeth into occlusion (Photo courtesy of Summit Medical).
Image: Blunt-tipped Minne Ties are being used to hold a patient\'s teeth into occlusion (Photo courtesy of Summit Medical).
Novel blunt-tipped miniature fasteners can effectively realize maxillo-mandibular fixation (MMF) by holding a patient’s teeth into occlusion.

The Summit Medical (St. Paul, MN, USA) Agile MMF Minne Ties are designed to thread between the teeth within the apical embrasure so as to firmly grab the dentition and pull the patient’s teeth into occlusion, regardless of how tightly-spaced it is. The ties can be used to stabilize jaw fractures without internal fixation, or in conjunction with titanium plates for internal fixation. Minne Ties are made of medical-grade, braided polyester and over-molded with a polypropylene polymercome, and are available in a selection of sizes (1.0, 0.7, and 0.5 mm diameter). Complete MMF can be achieved in about 12-15 minutes.

Clinic or emergency room (ER) application is also possible in non-displaced fractures. As the devices thread through the apical embrasure, they can simply displace the apical papilla to minimize soft tissue trauma. Because Minne Ties are effectively a polymer-coated suture, they can be cut and removed with a simple suture scissors, making clinic-based removal or patient administered release easy and straightforward, unlike wire and screw-based techniques, which invariably cause soft tissue trauma to the gums, but also to the opposing/adjacent oral mucosa of the lips and cheeks.

“For decades, jaw fractures were treated with the same standard procedures that involved arch bars and wires. In more recent years, hybrid systems were introduced that use wire and screws. These treatments cause severe pain and injury to patients’ mouths and gums,” said otolaryngologist Alan Johnson, MD, inventor of the Minnie Ties. “I detested the long, clumsy process of wiring a person’s jaw, but despised the process of taking them off of patients in the clinic even more. Patients suffer, and I felt responsible for not having a better solution.”

An added benefit of the smooth plastic and polymer surfaces and blunt tip of the Minne Ties is sharps injury mitigation, as the wires and screws currently used can cause penetrating injuries to the skin, which can pose a risk of exposure to hepatitis C virus or HIV.

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