Lingual nerve injury in association with sagittal ramus osteotomy and bicortical screw fixation: a review of 523 procedures in 262 subjects

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The purpose of this study was to assess the frequency of irreversible lingual nerve (LN) injury in patients undergoing sagittal ramus osteotomies (SRO) with bicortical screw fixation. A retrospective cohort study of patients treated by a single surgeon was performed (follow-up 2–11 years). The sample consisted of a series of subjects with a bimaxillary dentofacial deformity (DFD). The SRO and bicortical screw fixation techniques were consistent. The primary outcome variable was the prevalence of irreversible LN injury. Two hundred sixty-two subjects undergoing 523 SROs with bicortical screw fixation met the inclusion criteria. Average age at operation was 25 years (range 13–63 years) and there were 134 females (51%). The majority of SROs were fixated with three bicortical screws (92%). Simultaneous third molar removal was done in 209 of the 523 SROs (40%). For primary mandibular deficiency subjects (n = 40), the mean mandibular advancement was 11.0 mm (range 5–17 mm), with 42.5% undergoing counter-clockwise rotation. In the study group (n = 523 SRO's) there was one irreversible LN injury (<1%). This study confirmed a lack of association of LN injury at the time of SRO with sex, age at operation, simultaneous removal of a third molar, use of bicortical screw fixation, pattern of DFD, and extent of mandibular advancement.

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