Biomechanical Considerations for Distraction of the Monobloc, Le Fort III, and Le Fort I Segments

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Abstract

Background:

Distraction osteogenesis is effective for correction of severe maxillary and midface hypoplasia. The vectors controlling the segment to be moved must be planned. This requires knowledge of the physical characteristics of the osteotomized bone segment, including the location of the center of mass (free body) and the center of resistance (restrained body). The purpose of this study was to determine the center of mass of the osteotomized monobloc, Le Fort III, and Le Fort I bone segments.

Methods:

A dry human skull was used to sequentially isolate three bone segments: monobloc, Le Fort III, and Le Fort I. Each segment was suspended from three different points, and digital photographs were obtained from each suspension. The photographs were digitally superimposed. The center of mass was determined by calculating the intersection of the suspension lines.

Results:

The center of mass for the monobloc segment was located at a point 43.5 percent of the total height from the occlusal plane to the superior edge of the frontal bone supraorbital osteotomy. For the Le Fort III, it was located 38 percent of the total height from the occlusal plane to the superior edge of the osteotomized base of the nasal bones. For the Le Fort I, it was 53 percent of the total height from the occlusal plane to the superior edge of the osteotomized maxillary bone.

Conclusion:

Knowledge of the location of the center of mass in the monobloc, Le Fort III, and Le Fort I segments provides a starting point for the clinician when planning vectors for advancement with distraction.

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