Research Article| Volume 60, ISSUE 10, P1411-1416, December 2022

Pattern of pterygomaxillary disarticulation associated with Le Fort I maxillary osteotomy

Published:August 22, 2022DOI:


      Pterygomaxillary disarticulation (PMD) contributes to surgical complications of Le Fort 1 osteotomy and is associated with undesirable fractures of the pterygoid plates. The aim of this paper was to investigate the patterns of PMD in Le Fort I osteotomies using Rowe's disimpaction forceps, and to evaluate correlations with age and anatomical measurements. Cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) scans of 70 consecutive orthognathic patients were retrospectively evaluated to study four patterns of PMD: Type 1 - PMD at, or anterior to, the pterygomaxillary junction (PMJ); Type 2 - PMD posterior to the PMJ; Type 3 - PMJ separation with comminuted fracture of the pterygoid plates; Type 4 - disarticulation of the maxilla involving the pterygoid plates above the level of the osteotomy line. The preoperative anteroposterior and mediolateral thicknesses of the PMJ and the length of the medial and lateral pterygoid plates were assessed. Satisfactory PMD was achieved in all cases and no severe complications were reported, including vascular, dental, mucosal, or neural damage. The most common PMD was Type 1 (54.3%), followed by Type 2 (40%). Comminuted fracture of the pterygoid plates was limited to 5.7% of cases, and no Type 4 was detected. A weak correlation was detected between PMJ thickness and PMD pattern (p = 0.04). No statistically significant correlation was detected between patients’ age and type of PMD. PMD of Le Fort I maxillary osteotomy using a Smith spreader and Rowe's disimpaction forceps proved safe, with minimal damage to the pterygoid plates.


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