The effects of zygomatic complex fracture on masseteric muscle force

Frank Dal Santo, Edward Ellis, Gaylord S. Throckmorton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


The masseter muscle often has been implicated as a primary cause of postreduction displacement of the fractured zygomatic complex. However, this contention has never been proved. This study compared masseter muscle force in 10 male controls with that in 10 male patients who had sustained unilateral zygomaticomaxillary complex (ZMC) fractures. Calculation of muscle force was based on measured bite force, electromyogram, and radiographic determination of muscle vectors. It was found that the masseter muscle in patients with ZMC fractures developed significantly less force than masseter muscle in controls. Following fracture, the masseter force slowly increased, but at 4 weeks following surgery the majority of patients were still well below control levels. The results of this study cast uncertainty on the role of the masseter muscle in postreduction displacement of the fractured ZMC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)791-799
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oral Surgery
  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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