The Hippocratic Method for the Reduction of the Mandibular Dislocation, an Ancient Greek Procedure Still in Use in Maxillofacial Surgery

Vasilios Thomaidis, Gregory Tsoucalas, Aliki Fiska


Mandibular dislocation remains an acute medical condition in maxillofacial surgery. Since the Hippocratic era its reduction has been performed exactly in the same way it is now performed in modern surgery. We report an example of an elderly female patient with bilateral mandibular dislocation, who came to our department and was treated under sedation using the Hippocratic bimanual intraoral technique by two medical personnel, depicting the timeless usage of the method. Although some characteristics of the procedure were wrongfully attributed to others, such as Barton and Lewis, after a thorough examination of the ancient Greek medical texts, its originality should in fact be attributed solely to the Hippocratic School of Medicine. Furthermore, we recommend the use of the term “mandibular dislocation” instead of the “temporomandibular joint dislocation”, as a more accurate medical definition.


Mandibular dislocation; Temporomandibular joint dislocation; Reduction; Maxillofacial surgery; Hippocrates

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