Strength of titanium intramedullary implant versus miniplate fixation of mandibular condyle fractures

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)








fracture; implant; intramedullary fixation; mandible; mandible fracture; mandibular condyle


Objective. To test the strength of internal fixation of mandibular condyle fractures repaired with titanium miniplates versus titanium intramedullary implants. Study Design. Prospective laboratory experimentation in urethane mandible models and human cadaveric mandibles. Setting. Materials testing laboratory at an academic medical center. Methods. Osteotomies of the mandibular condyle were created in 40 urethane hemimandible models and 24 human cadaveric specimens. Half of the samples in each group were repaired with traditional miniplates, and the other half were repaired with intramedullary titanium implants. Anteroposterior and mediolateral loads were applied to the samples, and the displacement was measured with reference to the applied force. Results. Titanium intramedullary implants demonstrated statistically significant improved strength and stiffness versus miniplates in the urethane model experimental groups. Despite frequent plastic deformation and mechanical failures of the miniplates, a 1.6-mm-diameter titanium intramedullary pin did not mechanically fail in any of the cases. Intramedullary implantation failures were due to secondary fracture of the adjacent cortical bone or experimental design limitations including rotation of the smooth pin implant. Conclusion. Mechanical implant failures that were encountered with miniplate fixation were not seen with titanium intramedullary implants. These intramedullary implants provide stronger and more rigid fixation of mandibular condyle fractures than miniplates in this in vitro model. © 2012 American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery Foundation.

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