Helical distraction is superior to linear and circular distraction in mandibular distraction osteogenesis: an in silico study

J. Gateno, D. Kim, S. Bartlett, H. H. Deng, J. (S ). Xu, James J. Xia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Helical mandibular distraction is theoretically better than linear or circular distraction. However, it is not known whether this more complex treatment will result in unquestionably better outcomes. Therefore, the best attainable outcomes of mandibular distraction osteogenesis were evaluated in silico, given the constraints of linear, circular, and helical motion. This cross-sectional kinematic study included 30 patients with mandibular hypoplasia who had been treated with distraction, or to whom this treatment had been recommended. Demographic information and the computed tomography (CT) scans showing the baseline deformity were collected. The CT scans of each patient were segmented and three-dimensional models of the face created. Then, the ideal distraction outcomes were simulated. Next, the most favorable helical, circular, and linear distraction movements were calculated. Finally, errors were measured: misalignment of key mandibular landmarks, misalignment of the occlusion, and changes in intercondylar distance. Helical distraction produced trivial errors. In contrast, circular and linear distractions resulted in errors that were statistically and clinically significant. Helical distraction also preserved the planned intercondylar distance, while circular and linear distractions led to unwanted changes in the intercondylar distance. It is now evident that helical distraction offers a new strategy to improve the outcomes of mandibular distraction osteogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Early online dateJun 3 2023
StateE-pub ahead of print - Jun 3 2023


  • Cross-sectional studies
  • Distraction osteogenesis
  • Facial asymmetry
  • Mandible
  • X-ray computed tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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