Biomechanical Analysis of the Rigid Fixation of Zygoma Fractures: An Experimental Study

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Abstract

In this experimental study, the goal was to test the sufficiency of actual fixation plates in zygomatic complex fractures and the efficiency of a modified plate at the zygomaticofrontal suture in a suitable model, which was designed for biomechanical study. To address this issue, a zygomatic fracture model produced by using a cadaveric cranium was simulated and the fractures were fixed by the actual and modified fixation materials. The force simulating masseter muscle pull was applied with the Lloyd material testing apparatus, and the rotation of the zygoma was determined using displacement transducers. In this study, there were three different experimental groups. Although miniplates at the zygomaticomaxillary buttress and microplates at the infraorbital rim were used in all three groups, three different plates (miniplate, microplate, and modified plate) were used at the frontozygomatic suture in these groups. Rotational displacement of the zygoma with the effects of simulated masseter muscle force was determined. According to the results obtained, microplates are not effective in stabilizing the frontozygomatic suture when the masseter muscle forces are within physiological range. Although miniplates stabilize zygomatic complex fractures, it was shown that modified microplates, which have no ondulation along the plate border, have a higher resistance to rotation than that of the conventional plates. The rotation angle at the instant of fracture with microplates was 4.59°, and that with miniplates was 1.26°. The maximum rotation angle with modified microplates was 0.32°. Modified microplates designed for the fixation of fractures in the zygomatico-orbital region have been shown to be suitable in a well-designed experimental model and might be appropriate for clinical use.

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