Objectives: Aim of our study was the in vivo evaluation of the new developed bone welding method for the fixation of diacapitular mandibular condyle fractures by resorbable pins with a length up to 17 mm.
Materials and methods: Adult sheep were used as test animals. A unilateral diacapitular fracture was created via preauricular approach. 10 animals were treated by 2 resorbable pins. Osteosynthesis at 10 further animals was carried out by the conventional method with 2 mini titanium screws. On the basis of CT data, height of the mandibular ramus and volume modification of the condyle in comparison to the healthy opposite side were determined 3 months post operationem after sacrifice of the animals.
Results: Height of the mandibular ramus minimally decreased in both groups compared to the opposite side. The pin group showed an average reduction of −1.33 mm and the screw group −1.75 mm ( p = 0.68). Condyle volume considerably increased in both groups. However, there was no significant difference between pin and screw group with p = 0.66.
Summary: No significant disadvantages compared with the osteosynthesis with titanium screws as well as a sufficient stability could be observed in the animal study under the conditions of full load. Both groups showed a volume increase of the condyles. This was mainly caused by callus growth at the insertion side of the osteosynthesis. Possible reasons are both the characteristics of an artificially created fracture and the immediate masticatory load at species-appropriate animal husbandry.
Conflict of interest: None declared.