Relationship Between the Quantity of Nerve Exposure During Bilateral Sagittal Split Osteotomy Surgery and Sensitive Recovery

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Aim and Objectives:

The purpose of this study was to evaluate how different exposures of the V3 nerves during orthognathic surgery impact neurosensory disturbances.


The study included 127 patients who underwent either bilateral sagittal split osteotomy (BSSO) or BSSO with maxillary le Fort 1. They were divided into 6 groups, identified by the quantity of V3 nerve exposure. All patients were examined in a pre-op period and again after 1, 3, 6 months post-op. The standardized tests used were to clarify the objective and subjective neurosensory status of the exposed nerve. Neurosensory evaluation included; a pin prick test, the 2 points discriminator, light touch, warm and cold tests, and blunt discrimination. They were all done bilaterally on the lower lip area.


In only 2 patients the nerve was damaged during surgery and thus they were not included in this study. In 10.2% of patients there was no nerve exposure, 25.2% had longitudinal vestibular segment nerve exposed, 22.8% had the longitudinal upper-vestibular segment exposed, 20.5% had the longitudinal lower-vestibular segment exposed, 14.2% had the longitudinal upper-lower-vestibular segment exposed, and in 7.1% of patients the nerve was totally exposed. Given the estimated time of 1 month there was 100% recovery in patients whose nerve was unexposed. Considering the other patients, the authors had a variable number of patients who did not recover completely.


The authors estimate a correlation between the recovery time and the quantity of the exposed nerve. There is a high incidence of neurosensory disturbance in the lower lip and chin after BSSO and intraoperative quantity of nerve exposure.

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