Secondary fractures of Le Fort I osteotomy

Matthew W. Wilson, Pramod Maheshwari, Kathy Stokes, Michael J. Wheatley, Sean McLoughlin, Michael Talbot, W. T. Shults, Roger A. Dailey, John L. Wobig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Purpose: To report the ophthalmic complications of Le Fort I osteotomy for the correction of dentofacial deformities and to determine the maximal compressive loads applied during pterygomaxillary separation in a cadaver model. Methods: Two cases of ophthalmic complications arising after Le Fort I osteotomy are reported. Le Fort I osteotomy was performed on five cadavers. The maximal compressive load applied during pterygomaxillary separation was recorded with a 10 kN (3,000 lbf) load cell of a MTS Mini-Bionix servohydraulic machine (MTS, Eden Prairie, MN, U.S.A.). A paired t test was used to compare forces applied to the right and left sides. Computed tomography scans of each specimen were obtained after Le Fort I osteotomy to document secondary fractures. The skulls were subsequently stained with 1% fuschin red to highlight secondary fractures. Results: Maximum compressive loads during pterygomaxillary separation ranged from 22 N (5.0 lbf) to 162 N (36.5 lbf), with an average of 106 N (23.8 lbf) (SD 47.6 N [10.7 lbf]). Forces applied on the first operative side were significantly greater than forces applied on the second operative side (p = 0.0034). Secondary fractures were found in three specimens by computed tomography and in two specimens by 1% fuschin red. All secondary fractures occurred on the second operative side. Conclusion: Secondary fractures in the Le Fort I osteotomy procedures occurred on the side opposite the greater maximal compressive load and on the second operative side.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)258-270
Number of pages13
JournalOphthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Ophthalmology


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