Awl versus intravenous cannula stillete in circummandibular wiring— A prospective comparative study

The management of paediatric mandibular fractures using an acrylic splint is a time-tested procedure. Traditionally, an awl is used to place wires to secure such splints. In this study, we have designed a new technique of using intravenous cannula stillete (IVCS) as against conventional awl in placement of the circummandibular wires.

A total of 45 patients were included in the study. Group I included 22 subjects in whom an awl was used, and group II included 23 subjects in whom IVCS was used for placement of circummandibular wires. Parameters such as post-operative pain, swelling and ease of penetration, size of entry and exit wound and injury to adjacent structures were compared.

Statistically significant reduction in post-operative pain and swelling were noticed in group II. The operating surgeons experienced greater ease in using IVCS, and the size of the entry and exit wounds were also relatively small as compared to using an awl.

To conclude, The IVCS, which is disposable, having finer diameter, a sharp bevel and internal wire carrying capacity, clearly demonstrates statistically significant advantages over the usage of a conventional awl.