Three-Dimensional Quantitative Assessment of Condylar Displacement and Adaptive Remodeling in Asymmetrical Mandibular Prognathism Patients After Sagittal Split Ramus Osteotomy : Journal of Craniofacial Surgery

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Clinical Studies

Three-Dimensional Quantitative Assessment of Condylar Displacement and Adaptive Remodeling in Asymmetrical Mandibular Prognathism Patients After Sagittal Split Ramus Osteotomy

Jha, Nayansi BDS, MSD*; Kim, MyungSu DDS, MSD; Cevidanes, Lucia DDS, PhD; Kim, Yoon-Ji DDS, PhD*

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The Journal of Craniofacial Surgery 34(1):p 240-246, January/February 2023. | DOI: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000008836

Abstract

Long-term stability of mandibular setback surgery in skeletal class III patients is a major concern for oral and maxillofacial surgeons and orthodontists. It has been reported that a sole mandibular setback is one of the least stable surgical procedures, together with the downward movement, and surgical expansion of the maxilla.1 Most of the skeletal relapse of mandibular setback surgery occurs during the first postsurgical year, mainly attributed to the surgical technique as the major factor for relapse.1 After osteotomy of the mandible, only the distal segment should be pushed back; however, when the proximal segments are also pushed back, the musculature returns to its original position carrying the chin forward.2 Other factors associated with postoperative condylar displacement include the amount of mandibular setback, vertical repositioning of the maxilla, rotational movement of the distal segment, tensional balance of the surrounding muscles, fixation method, and osteotomy method [intraoral vertical ramus osteotomy versus sagittal split ramus osteotomy (SSRO)].3–6

Changes in the condylar position as a result of orthognathic surgery lead to adaptive remodeling of the condyle in response to changes in the functional loading.7 Condylar remodeling has been studied mostly in class II patients following mandibular advancement surgery because decrease in mandibular length was observed in many of the patients during long-term retention.1,8–10 Regarding the condylar changes after orthognathic surgery for class III patients, few studies, which are based on 2-dimensional (D) radiographs or 2D reformatted images of cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT), have been reported. Angular and linear displacement changes in those studies were measured by using reference planes. There are limited volumetric analyses that studied condylar resorption as an outcome of class III orthognathic surgery.11–13

The purpose of this study was to evaluate condylar displacement changes and the associated condylar remodeling in class III patients with facial asymmetry following mandibular setback surgery via SSRO.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB number-2019AN0011) of Korea University Hospital and all subjects’ data was deidentified for this study. The study subjects comprised of patients with mandibular prognathism who had undergone SSRO for mandibular setback at Korea University Hospital, from January 2016 to December 2018. Cone-beam computed tomography was obtained with 3D eXam (KaVo Dental GmbH, Biberach, Germany) (field of view, 17×23 cm; 120 kV and 5 mAs; voxel size, 0.3 mm; pulsed scan time, 17.8 s). Inclusion criteria were as follows: patients with mandibular prognathism and facial asymmetry >3 mm measured at menton; one or both SSRO surgeries; and those who had CBCTs of initial (T0), and at least 12 months postsurgery (T1). Exclusion criteria were as follows: craniofacial syndromes such as cleft lip and palate; previous history of surgery in the jaws; and signs and symptoms related to degenerative joint disease. A total of 26 condyles of 13 patients (10 males, 3 females; mean age of 21.2±2.6 y) were included. The mean menton deviation was 5.1±2.1 mm. G*Power was used to determine the sample size with an α level of 0.05 and power of 0.8.

The amount of menton deviation was measured with reference to the midsagittal reference plane, constructed by the anterior nasal spine, crista galli, and basion. The right and left condyles were classified into deviated (D) side and nondeviated (ND) side as the difference in the amount of setback in the right and the left side may have a significant effect on the condylar displacement.

For 3D quantitative assessment of the condylar displacement after surgery, segmentation of the condyles and the cranial base in the T0 and T1 CBCT images was done using the ITK-SNAP software (open-source, version 3.4.0; http://www.itksnap.org).14 The condylar models created at T0 and T1 were registered using the cranial base as a reference and were imported to the Slicer software (open-source, version 4.10.2; http://www.slicer.org)15 for measurement of the translational and rotational changes in the condyles using the Q3DC module of the software. The medial and lateral poles of the condylar head were marked, and the software automatically calculated the linear displacement in the anteroposterior, superior-inferior, and right-left directions, along with the rotations along the coronal (roll), axial (yaw), and sagittal planes (pitch). Positive or negative signs indicated directions of displacement (Supplemental Table 1, Supplemental Digital Content 1, https://links.lww.com/SCS/E277).

For analysis of condylar head remodeling, the condyles were superimposed using the regional superimposition with the superior portion of the mandibular ramus as a reference. After manual approximation of the T0 and T1 condylar models, automated registration was done. Then, simultaneous clipping of the T0 and T1 models above the osteotomy area was done using the Easy clip module of the Slicer software, and computation of point-to-point distances between the 2 models based on the shape correspondence algorithm was done using the SPHARM-PDM16 module of the software.

Quantitative assessment of the condylar surface remodeling was done in 8 selected regions of interest (ROIs) of the condylar head: anterior I (anterolateral condylar region), anterior II (anteromedial), posterior I (posterolateral), posterior II (posteromedial), superior I (superolateral), superior II (superomedial), medial, and lateral (Fig. 1). Changes were measured in each ROI as signed distances in which positive values indicated bone apposition and negative values indicated bone resorption. Semitransparent overlays, color maps, and vectors were used for visualization and clinical interpretation of the condylar remodeling patterns. Shape correspondence analysis was used for mesh generation with 4002 correspondence points; the magnitude of change was displayed on the condylar surface and vector images (Fig. 2A–C).

F1
FIGURE 1:
The 8 regions of the condylar head for quantitative assessment of surface remodeling: anterolateral (Ant I), anteromedial (Ant II), posterolateral (Post I), posteromedial (Post II), superolateral (Sup I), superomedial (Sup II), lateral (Lat), and medial (Med) regions.
F2
FIGURE 2:
Left condyle of a patient who underwent orthognathic surgery. (A) Semitransparent overlay of condylar models at T0 (gray) and T1 (red). (B) Color map of the condylar remodeling changes after surgery (T1). (C) Vector maps indicating amount and direction of condylar remodeling.

Statistical Analysis

The Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used for the comparison of condylar displacement and surface remodeling between D and ND sides. The Spearman correlation analysis was used for association between condylar displacement and surface remodeling. A significance level of P value <0.05 was applied. All analyses were performed using R statistical software, version 3.6.3.

RESULTS

Mean translational and rotational displacement changes of the condyles on the D and ND sides from T0 to T1 are shown in Supplemental Table 2 (Supplemental Digital Content 1, https://links.lww.com/SCS/E277). In the comparison of the D and the ND sides, there was a significant difference in the mean anteroposterior displacement of the condyle (P=0.007) (Supplemental Table 2, Supplemental Digital Content 1, https://links.lww.com/SCS/E277) showing 0.47 mm of posterior movement on the D side, and 0.35 mm of anterior movement on the ND side.

The condylar head remodeling that occurred after surgery on the D and ND sides is shown in Supplemental Table 3 (Supplemental Digital Content 1, https://links.lww.com/SCS/E277) and as a box plot in Figure 3. There was no statistical difference in the mean amount of surface remodeling between the D and ND sides. The percentage distribution of different remodeling patterns in each ROI of the condyle on the D and ND sides are displayed in Figure 4. The correlation between the condylar displacement and surface remodeling for the D and ND sides is shown as a heatmap in Figure 5 and as a correlation matrix in Supplemental Table 4 (Supplemental Digital Content 1, https://links.lww.com/SCS/E277).

F3
FIGURE 3:
Box plot of condylar remodeling following surgery for both deviated and nondeviated sides.
F4
FIGURE 4:
Bar graph indicating percentage distribution of patients having condylar resorption or bone apposition after surgery. Anterior I indicates anterolateral region; anterior II, anteromedial region; D, deviated; ND, nondeviated; posterior I, posterolateral region; posterior II, posteromedial region; superior I, superolateral region; superior II, superomedial region.
F5
FIGURE 5:
Heatmap showing the correlation between the amount of condylar displacement and surface remodeling. Anterior I indicates anterolateral region; anterior II, anteromedial region; AP, anteroposterior; D, deviated; ND, nondeviated; posterior I, posterolateral region; posterior II, posteromedial region; RL, right-left; SI, superior-inferior; superior I, superolateral region; superior II, superomedial region.

Anteroposterior condylar displacement on the D side showed a significant positive correlation with the remodeling in the anterior, posterior, and medial of the D side and posterior of the ND side (Supplemental Table 4, Supplemental Digital Content 1, https://links.lww.com/SCS/E277, Fig. 5). Condylar rotation in the axial (yaw) and sagittal (pitch) direction exhibited a positive correlation with the superior, lateral, and medial surfaces of the ND side. Condylar rotation in the coronal plane (roll) of the D side showed negative correlation with the posterior, superior, lateral, and medial surfaces of the condyle on the same side. Linear displacement of the ND side in the right-left direction showed a significant correlation with the remodeling in the anterior, posterior, superior, lateral, and medial regions of the D side (Supplemental Table 4, Supplemental Digital Content 1, https://links.lww.com/SCS/E277, Fig. 5).

DISCUSSION

Condylar displacement and the resultant changes in the functional loading of the condyles lead to adaptive remodeling of the condyles. Accordingly, we aimed to assess the condylar remodeling changes associated with displacement changes by using a shape correspondence algorithm, which allows analysis of corresponding points rather than the closest point, thus permitting a more accurate understanding of surface changes.17

The linear and angular displacement changes showed movements in both directions with a large range, indicating a variety of responses among different individuals. The mean displacement was relatively small ranging from −0.51 to 0.35 mm and 0.47 to 2.50° for linear and angular changes, respectively (Supplemental Table 2, Supplemental Digital Content 1, https://links.lww.com/SCS/E277). However, large standard deviations were observed, especially for rotational changes. Our results were similar to previous reports that have shown a large range of negative and positive values for angular and linear changes of the condyles. Kawamata et al18 reported greater changes in the angular measurements of the condyles, compared with the linear displacement. Choi et al19 reported that mandibular setback surgery using SSRO results in lateral displacement of proximal segment and increase in the intergonial width. The mean values indicated increase in intergonial distance and condylar inclinations. However, a large range from negative to positive values were reported in the results. Similar results were reported by Lee and Park,3 who showed a large range of proximal segment changes in opposite directions.

Rotation in the sagittal plane (pitch) had a change of 2.50±16.37° and 2.33±13.28° for D and ND sides, respectively (Supplemental Table 2, Supplemental Digital Content 1, https://links.lww.com/SCS/E277). Possible reasons for this large range of forward and backward rotation of the ramus could possibly be attributed to patients’ vertical characteristics and occlusal changes during postoperative orthodontic treatment. According to a case report of a class III malocclusion patient treated with a surgery-first approach, the sagittal ramus angulation was unchanged immediately after surgery, but a forward rotation was observed after postoperative orthodontics.20

Condylar displacement changes between the D and the ND sides showed a significant difference in the linear displacement in the anteroposterior direction. The D side showed a mean backward movement of the condyle, while the ND side showed a mean forward movement of the condyle (Supplemental Table 2, Supplemental Digital Content 1, https://links.lww.com/SCS/E277). This change may be associated with a greater amount of setback in the ND side than the D side. Jakobsone et al4 reported that there is a greater tendency for relapse with a greater amount of mandibular setback. In contrast, Lee and Park3 reported that the positional change of the condyle after SSRO was not correlated with the amount of the setback. However, the association between the condylar displacement and relapse of facial asymmetry was not assessed in this study, warranting a further study.

Mean condylar head remodeling showed a variety of responses, similar to the displacement changes, and there was no significant difference in the mean remodeling changes between the D and ND sides. However, the box plot indicates more resorptive changes on the D side compared with the ND side (Fig. 3). This pattern is also observed in Figure 4 that shows a higher percentage of patients showing condylar resorption on the D side. The difference between the D and ND sides may be associated with the mean backward displacement of the D condyle and mean forward movement of the ND condyle. According to the correlation heatmap shown in Figure 5, the anteroposterior displacements of the D and ND condyles show a positive and negative correlation with the remodeling of the in the D and ND condyles, respectively. However, the correlation was statistically significant only for the D side (Supplemental Table 4, Supplemental Digital Content 1, https://links.lww.com/SCS/E277).

Regarding the association between the condylar displacement and remodeling changes, the displacement changes in the D condyle showed a higher association with condylar remodeling than the ND side. There is usually a greater amount of setback on the ND side, as it has a longer mandibular body. As a result, a yaw of the distal segment occurs, which results in an interference between proximal and the distal segments and may lead to a displacement of the proximal segment.21,22 Our results showed that yaw of the D condyle showed a significant correlation with the superior, lateral, and medial remodeling of the ND condyle. Yang et al22 reported that the interference between the proximal and distal segments became larger as the amount of yaw rotation in the distal segment increased and concluded that SSRO with a short lingual osteotomy showed the least displacement of the proximal segment in mandibular prognathism with asymmetry. A previous study on condylar remodeling after SSRO has reported that patients showed variable responses of bone remodeling—resorption, bone formation and no changes in different regions of the condyle.11 However, most of the patients showed bone resorption in the anterior, superior, and posterior regions of the condyle.23 In addition, condylar yaw was closely related to changes of condylar surface.11

Limitations of this study include a small sample size. High interindividual variability was observed, warranting further studies with a larger sample size, comparison of 1-jaw versus 2-jaw surgeries, surgical technique (SSRO versus intraoral vertical ramus osteotomy), and timing of surgery (conventional approach versus surgery-first approach). The amount of condylar remodeling was small compared with that in mandibular retrognathism patients. However, 3D assessment of condylar remodeling may aid in a better understanding of the long-term postoperative skeletal changes.

CONCLUSIONS

Condylar displacement and surface remodeling after SSRO surgery show a high variability among individuals. One year after surgery, the condyles on the ND side moved anteriorly, while the condyles on the D side moved posteriorly after surgery. Adaptive condylar remodeling showed no significant difference between D and ND condyles in all the studied regions. However, significant correlations were observed between condylar displacement and remodeling. The displacement in the D condyle had a greater association with the condylar remodeling changes in both D and ND condyles than with the condylar remodeling changes in the ND condyle.

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Keywords:

class III orthognathic surgery; class III treatment; facial asymmetry; malocclusion

Supplemental Digital Content

Copyright © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. on behalf of Mutaz B. Habal, MD.