Biomechanical analysis of fractures in the mandibular neck (collum mandibulae)

J.H. Koolstra, S.C. Kommers, T. Forouzanfar

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


After treatment of fractures in the neck of the mandible by means of immobilization of the dentition, often more or less severe manifestations of malocclusion remain. It was hypothesized that this is caused by an altered articulation in the jaw joint on the affected side. Furthermore, it was hypothesized that an anteriorly displaced condyle, as observed frequently as a side effect of the treatment, is caused by pull of the lateral pterygoid muscle, despite maxillomandibular fixation.

Intervention experiments were performed in silico to test these hypotheses. With a biomechanical model of the human masticatory system alterations were applied mimicking a fractured mandibular neck and configurations that had been observed after healing.

It was predicted that the altered articulation in the jaw joint caused asymmetrical jaw movements despite symmetrical muscle activation. The jaw was predicted to close with an open bite similar to clinical observations. The predicted laterodeviations, however, were not in accordance with clinical observations. Despite maxillo-mandibular fixation the lateral pterygoid muscle was able to pull the mandibular condyle out of its fossa in anterior direction. Consequently, despite some methodological limitations, in general the predictions corroborated the hypotheses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1789-1794
JournalJournal of Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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