Use of finite element analysis in presurgical planning: treatment of mandibular fractures

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Abstract

Background

The current clinical procedure for mandible fracture fixation is plate application. 3D reconstructions are used to validate procedures numerically preceding experimental analysis. This study outlines the methods used to reconstruct a numerical model of the mandible.

Methods

A CT scan from a 22-year-old male patient with a healthy unfractured mandible was obtained. A 3D reconstruction was carried out using Mimics via thresholding and segmentation techniques. Boundary conditions and muscle forces were applied, and simulations were performed using ABAQUS.

Results

3D reconstruction allows for precise anatomical dimensions, which can be used for further engineering analysis. Using the surgical Champy technique as an example, results showed that the mandible model returned to normal function post-plating.

Conclusions

The study shows the clinical relevance of 3D reconstructions to plan surgical procedures. Results illustrate the benefit of carrying out numerical validations as a prerequisite to experimental modelling and as a method of pre-validating surgical procedures.

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