Neurosensory and functional impairment in sagittal split osteotomies: a longitudinal and long-term follow-up study

Eur J Orthod. 2007 Jun;29(3):263-71. doi: 10.1093/ejo/cjm021.


The aim was to conduct a long-term follow-up study on the function and sensitivity of the mandible in advancement and setback patients after bilateral sagittal split osteotomy (BSSO) with rigid internal fixation. The advancement and setback groups consisted of 16 (12 females and 4 males, mean age: 21.4 and 21.3 years, respectively) and 17 (11 females and 6 males, mean age: 27.1 and 27.7 years, respectively). The final follow-up was a mean of 12.7 years (T4) post-operatively. The other follow-up examinations were before surgery (T1) and 7.3/6.6 (T2) and 13.9/14.4 (T3) months after surgery. To evaluate craniomandibular function, mouth-opening capacity, laterotrusion, protrusion, deviations during opening, pain and clicking of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), muscular pain, and the retruded contact position-intercuspal position (RC-IP) distance were examined. A questionnaire was used to record subjective reports. The neurosensory status was determined with two-point discrimination (2-pd), the pointed, blunt, and light-touch tests. Statistical analysis included the following tests: Wilcoxon signed ranked matched pairs, Mann-Whitney U, paired t, and Fisher's exact test. Bonferroni's adjustments were made for evaluation of the questionnaire and Spearman's rank correlation coefficients to determine the interdependence of selected variables. Craniomandibular function showed restitution at T4 after 12.7 years. The 2-pd at the lip and chin had largely normalized in the two groups at T3. At T4, there was a significant increase of 2-pd at the lip and chin in both groups. The discrimination between sharp and blunt was limited in both groups in 25 per cent of patients at T4. Dysfunctions such as TMJ clicking, bruxism, and pain in the TMJ and muscles were neither increased nor decreased after BSSO. The initial post-surgical neurosensory impairment was barely detectable 1 year post-surgery. The new neurosensory impairment manifested at T4 was probably due to the normal human process of ageing. Neither age, gender, surgical advancement, nor setback showed any significant correlations.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Chin / innervation
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lip / innervation
  • Male
  • Mandible / innervation
  • Mandible / physiology
  • Mandible / surgery*
  • Mandibular Advancement / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteotomy / adverse effects*
  • Temporomandibular Joint / physiology