Relationships between geometry and kinematic characteristics in the temporomandibular joint

Comput Methods Biomech Biomed Engin. 2012;15(4):393-400. doi: 10.1080/10255842.2010.539560. Epub 2011 May 24.


Motions of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) involve both translation and rotation; however, there may be substantial variations from one human to another, and these variations present significant difficulties when designing TMJ prostheses. The disc-condyle glides along the temporal bone and the condyle centre describe a curve that depends on the individual morphology. This study analyses disc-condyle rotatory and translatory displacements moving all along the temporal bone facets which are mainly composed of two areas: the articular tubercle slope (ATS) and the preglenoid plane separated by the articular tubercle crest. Displacements were quantified using 3D video analysis, and this technique was computer-assisted. From a population of 32 volunteers, we were able to establish a correlation between the kinematic characteristics of the joint and the disc-condyle trajectories. This study quantifies the geometrical characteristics of the ATS and their inter-individual variations, which are useful in TMJ prosthesis design.

MeSH terms

  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Simulation
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Joint Prosthesis
  • Mandibular Condyle / anatomy & histology
  • Mandibular Condyle / physiology
  • Models, Anatomic
  • Prosthesis Design
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Rotation
  • Temporomandibular Joint / anatomy & histology*
  • Temporomandibular Joint / physiology*
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disc / anatomy & histology
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disc / physiology
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / surgery