Quantification of the relative orientation and position of the mandibular condyles

Morphologie. 2021 Dec;105(351):275-280. doi: 10.1016/j.morpho.2020.11.007. Epub 2020 Dec 2.


The human temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is involved in vital functions such as feeding and talking, while its disorder prevalence is reported to be between 5% and 12%. Functional evaluation using quantitative motion analysis tools is interesting in order to better understand normal and abnormal TMJ behavior. But, for the same mandibular displacement, left and right condyles will most certainly give different motion representation: both condyles showing a different shape and volume, being most of the time asymmetric and highly individual. This study performs quantification on relative left and right condyle orientation and position using the spatial location of palpated anatomical landmarks (ALs) and anatomical frames (AFs), on three-dimensional (3D) models created from computerized tomography (CT) performed on 94 mandibles from Université Libre de Bruxelles bone repository, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) performed on 11 living subjects. Our aim was to gather as much data as possible on the morphological aspect of the condyle's orientation asymmetry within the same mandible, in order to better address the difference of motion representation that will be observed for the right and left condyles in further kinematic studies.

Keywords: Anatomical frames; Anatomical landmarks; Mandibular condyle asymmetry; Mandibular condyle morphology; Mandibular condyle orientation; Three-dimensional Model; Virtual palpation.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Mandible / diagnostic imaging
  • Mandibular Condyle* / diagnostic imaging
  • Temporomandibular Joint* / diagnostic imaging
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed