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A Novel Osteosynthesis Plate Design for Routine Corrective Facial Surgery

Mommaerts, Maurice Y. MD, DMD

Innovation and Techniques

Plating systems for the osteosynthesis of facial osteotomies have different requirements to those used to treat facial fractures. The aim of fracture treatment is anatomical fragment reduction, functional/rigid immobilization, restoration of occlusion and aesthetics, and occasionally defect bridging. In corrective facial surgery however there is a need for intra-operative adjustments related to changes in occlusion and aesthetics, and defect bridging occurs frequently. Postoperatively, training elastics are used to control temporary neuromuscular imbalance. To accommodate these demands a new plating system is presented, based on five requisites: allowance of occlusal and aesthetic adjustment without hardware removal, plate dimensions that accommodate routine skeletal repositionings, reduced hardware volume compared with trauma plating systems, screws that fit the inter-dental spaces when tension banding, and capability for micro-screw fixation of bone grafts in the osteotomy site. The files of 1000 non-congenital facial deformity patients were analyzed. The sagittal, vertical and transverse movements were drawn and the bridging distances calculated. Slotted plates with double-armed interconnections were designed for maxillary, zygomatic-sandwich, chin and segmental osteotomies. A separate design was made for the sagittal split plate. A pilot study was performed using 20 patients. The system showed great versatility and adaptability, but a multicenter morbidity study is necessary, mainly to study postoperative stability.

Brugge, Belgium

From The Division of Maxillo-Facial Surgery, Department of Surgery and Cleft Palate & Craniofacial Anomalies Team, General Hospital St. Jan, Brugge, Belgium.

Address correspondence to Dr Maurice Mommaerts, Division of Maxillo-Facial Surgery, General Hospital St. Jan, 8000 Brugge, Belgium; E-mail:

© 2002 Mutaz B. Habal, MD