Patient-specific 3D printed plates improve stability of Le Fort 1 osteotomies in vitro

Kasper Stokbro, Søren Wiatr Borg, Morten Østergaard Andersen, Torben Thygesen

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Selective laser melting used to manufacture patient-specific 3D-printed (PSP) plates is a delicate process, which may introduce weakened areas in the plates, with risk of fracture. This in vitro study's purpose was to test the ability of PSP plates to stabilize Le Fort I osteotomies compared with manually adapted stock plates. The study's objectives were to measure the force needed to compress the osteotomy and evaluate whether the PSP plates would break during compression.

Materials and methods
This controlled in vitro study evaluated the maxillary stability using the clinical data from 7 patients. The virtually planned maxillary reposition was 3D-printed in 2 copies, and the osteotomy gap was fixated by either PSP plates or stock plates. The models were compressed until the Le Fort I osteotomy gap was eliminated. The primary outcome was the force needed to compress the model. The primary predictor variable was a comparison between PSP and stock plates. Secondary outcome measurements were the slope of elastic modulus, yield point, and force needed for 2 mm compression. Statistical testing was performed by Wilcoxon signed-rank test with significance level at P ≤ 0.05.

The PSP plates performed better than stock plates in all outcome measurements. None of the plates broke during compression despite forces of more than 4000 N. The first point of failure in PSP plates was the first screw cranial to the osteotomy. In comparison, the first point of failure in stock plates was in the plates’ bend at the osteotomy.

In this in vitro setup, the Le Fort I osteotomies fixated with PSP plates were more stable than the osteotomies fixated with conventional stock plates. No adverse effects occurred during testing of PSP plates; thus, PSP plates seem to be a safe alternative to stock plates and may even be preferable.
TidsskriftJournal of Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)394-399
StatusUdgivet - 1. mar. 2019


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