Lateral pterygoid muscle activity in mandibular retrognathism and response to mandibular advancement surgery
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Electromyographic patterns of muscle activity were recorded in 11 patients with mandibular retrognathism and compared with ten normal subjects. Categorization of facial morphology was based on standard cephalometric data. Seven patients in the retrognathic group have been studied 1 year after mandibular-lengthening surgery. A computer-based data acquisition and analysis system with a Selspot movement monitoring system was used to record and quantify simultaneously both mandibular movement patterns and associated electromyographic data. Of particular interest was the pattern of activity for the lateral pterygoid muscles of all patients in the retrognathic group compared with controls. Both the ipsilateral and contralateral lateral pterygoids contracted during either right or left lateral excursions for eight of the 11 patients in the retrognathic group compared to aphasic activity during this movement as expected in the control group. However, all seven of the patients tested 1 year after mandibular lengthening demonstrated normal aphasic firing patterns of the lateral pterygoid muscles (inferior belly) during right and left lateral excursions. The retrognathic group of patients also demonstrated abnormal recruitment patterns of the lateral pterygoid muscles during border movements of the mandible in the preoperative stage. Recruitment patterns approached normal levels after mandibular advancement surgery. The number of patients studied did not permit accurate statistical analysis. However, a trend is apparent that demonstrates previously unreported abnormal activity patterns of the lateral pterygoid muscles and an adaptive response of these muscles to orthognathic surgery.
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