Changes in the condyle and disc in response to distraction osteogenesis of the minipig mandible

Petra Thurmüller, Maria J. Troulis, Andrew Rosenberg, Leonard B. Kaban

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Purpose: Distraction osteogenesis (DO) is a commonly used technique for mandibular lengthening, but changes in the temporomandibular joint have not been well documented. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of DO, at varying rates, on the mandibular condyle and articular disc. Materials and Methods: Semiburied distractors were placed via submandibular incisions in 15 minipigs. Two unoperated animals served as controls. The protocol consisted of 0 day latency and rates of 1, 2, or 4 mm/d for a 12-mm gap. After the animals were killed (0, 24, or 90 days), ipsilateral and contralateral condyles and discs were harvested and evaluated to determine changes in 1) condylar form and size, 2) condylar surface, and 3) the articular disc. Results: Articular surfaces of the condyles in control animals were smooth, with no irregularities or erosions. In animals undergoing distraction, ipsilateral condyles showed increasing changes in morphology and AP dimension, and surface contour irregularities as the DO rate increased. These changes were present, but to a lesser degree, in the contralateral condyles. Articular discs of both ipsilateral and contralateral sides showed variable thinning at the medial aspect at end DO. After 90 days, changes in the condyles and discs were reduced by remodeling except in the 4 mm/d DO groups. Conclusions: Results of this preliminary study indicate that gross changes occur in condyles and discs after unilateral mandibular DO. These changes are more severe at faster distraction rates (4 mm/d) and tend to resolve during neutral fixation when a rate of 1 mm/d is used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1327-1333
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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