Transoral vertical ramus osteotomy (VRO) has been condemned because the condyle has the potential to sag, and because it needs lengthy maxillomandibular fixation. We have therefore introduced a simple method of fixation, and examined its effectiveness and complications. After the osteotomy, the proximal and distal segments are trimmed to adapt to each other. Four Kirschner (K) pins 0.9 mm in diameter are inserted percutaneously from the proximal to the distal segment while the condyle is positioned in the glenoid fossa. This is followed by a brief period of maxillomandibular fixation. We have reviewed the records of 95 patients who had unilateral or bilateral vertical ramus osteotomy fixed with K pins, after which the mean (SD) period of fixation was 19 (11) days. Fixation failed in two patients because excursion of the jaw was either too heavy or too early. The fixations were redone. All other fixations remained stable, including the 20 dual-jaw procedures in which VRO preceded maxillary osteotomy. The mean (SD) maximal mouth opening at final follow-up was 44 (7) mm, and in only one patient was it less than 30 mm. Numbness of the lip or chin developed in seven patients, five of whom had other anterior mandibular procedures. Four patients had discomfort on palpation of the site of the pins, and one required removal. The new method was effective, and resulted in few complications within its limitations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Oral Surgery