Design and clinical outcome of a novel 3D-printed prosthetic joint replacement for the human temporomandibular joint

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Abstract

Background:

Stock prosthetic temporomandibular joint replacements come in limited sizes, and do not always encompass the joint anatomy that presents clinically. The aims of this study were twofold. Firstly, to design a personalized prosthetic total joint replacement for the treatment of a patient's end-stage temporomandibular joint osteoarthritis, to implant the prosthesis into the patient, and assess clinical outcome 12-months post-operatively; and secondly, to evaluate the influence of changes in prosthetic condyle geometry on implant load response during mastication.

Methods:

A 48-year-old female patient with Grade-5 osteoarthritis to the left temporomandibular joint was recruited, and a prosthesis developed to match the native temporomandibular joint anatomy. The prosthesis was 3D printed, sterilized and implanted into the patient, and pain and function measured 12-months post-operatively. The prosthesis load response during a chewing-bite and maximum-force bite was evaluated using a personalized multi-body musculoskeletal model. Simulations were performed after perturbing condyle thickness, neck length and head sphericity.

Findings:

Increases in prosthetic condyle neck length malaligned the mandible and perturbed temporomandibular joint force. Changes in condylar component thickness greatly influenced fixation screw stress response, while a more eccentric condylar head increased prosthetic joint-contact loading. Post-operatively, the prosthetic temporomandibular joint surgery reduced patient pain from 7/10 to 1/10 on a visual analog scale, and increased intercisal opening distance from 22 mm to 38 mm.

Interpretation:

This study demonstrates effectiveness of a personalized prosthesis that may ultimately be adapted to treat a wide-range of end-stage temporomandibular joint conditions, and highlights sensitivity of prosthesis load response to changes in condylar geometry.

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