A retrospective study of relapse in rigidly fixated sagittal split osteotomies: Contributing factors

Joseph E. Van Sickels, Ann J. Larsen, William J. Thrash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Fifty-one patients who underwent mandibular advancements with or without genioplasties were rigidly fixated with three, 2-mm bicortical screws per side. Radiographs were digitized preoperatively, immediately postoperatively, at 6 weeks, at 6 months, and at a subsequent long-term follow-up period. Location of the cephalometric landmarks, referenced to a vertical reference line (in millimeters), was used as the dependent variable. An overall inspection of the data shows that rigidly fixated mandibular advancements were very stable. The average case showed further advancement of pogonion from 6 weeks to the long-term follow-up period. However, relapse was noted in several cases. Factors that could be used as predictors of relapse were examined. Results indicated that magnitude of advancement was the only factor that successfully predicted relapse, accounting for 37.9% of the variance in the sample. Anatomic changes found to accompany such advancement are as follows: (1) when pogonion comes forward, anterior facial height and mandibular plane decrease while the proximal segment rotates forward, and (2) the maxillary central incisors flare and the mandibular incisors upright during this time period. A small degree of relapse as assessed at pogonion occurred during the first 6 weeks, followed by an advancement from 6 weeks to the longest time interval after the surgical procedure. However, these directional movements were not statistically significant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-418
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthodontics


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