Condylar position with rigid fixation versus wire osteosynthesis of a sagittal split advancement

Joseph E. Van Sickels, B. D. Tiner, Stephen D. Keeling, Gary M. Clark, Robert Bays, John Rugh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Purpose: In this randomized clinical study, two groups of patients who underwent a bilateral sagittal split osteotomy and either wire osteosynthesis or rigid fixation were compared. Patients and Methods: Cephalometric radiographs obtained before surgery, immediately after surgery, and at 8 weeks, 6 months, and 1 and 2 years after surgery were available for 125 of these patients, 63 with wire fixation and 62 with rigid fixation. All were traced by an independent examiner, and vertical and horizontal changes in condylar position were recorded for each period. Results: Condylar movement was slightly different with the two fixation techniques beyond 8 weeks postsurgery, but the ultimate position of the condyle was not different. The condyles in both groups moved posterior and superior. There initially was a correlation between the amount of advancement and the amount the condyle moved inferior in both groups, but this diminished with time. In addition, there was a weak but significant positive relationship between forward rotation of the proximal segment and superior condylar position immediately after surgery, which did not exist at later periods. Conclusions: Whether wire osteosynthesis or rigid fixation was used, the ultimate condylar position was posterior and superior after a bilateral sagittal split osteotomy to advance the mandible. No single factor could be identified to account for this change. It is suggested that change in mechanical load may have resulted in remodeling and adaptation of the condyles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-34
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oral Surgery
  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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