3D Finite Element Simulation of the Opening Movement of the Mandible in Healthy and Pathologic Situations

[+] Author and Article Information
A. Pérez del Palomar

Group of Structural Mechanics Materials Modeling, Aragón Institute of Engineering Research (I3A), University of Zaragoza, Spain

M. Doblaré

Group of Structural Mechanics Materials Modeling, Aragón Institute of Engineering Research (I3A), University of Zaragoza, Spainmdoblare@unizar.es

J Biomech Eng 128(2), 242-249 (Sep 26, 2005) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2165697 History: Received January 27, 2005; Revised September 26, 2005

One of the essential causes of disk disorders is the pathologic change in the ligamentous attachments of the disk-condyle complex. In this paper, the response of the soft components of a human temporomandibular joint during mouth opening in healthy and two pathologic situations was studied. A three-dimensional finite element model of this joint comprising the bone components, the articular disk, and the temporomandibular ligaments was developed from a set of medical images. A fiber reinforced porohyperelastic model was used to simulate the behavior of the articular disk, taking into account the orientation of the fibers in each zone of this cartilage component. The condylar movements during jaw opening were introduced as the loading condition in the analysis. In the healthy joint, it was obtained that the highest stresses were located at the lateral part of the intermediate zone of the disk. In this case, the collateral ligaments were subject to high loads, since they are responsible of the attachment of the disk to the condyle during the movement of the mandible. Additionally, two pathologic situations were simulated: damage of the retrodiscal tissue and disruption of the lateral discal ligament. In both cases, the highest stresses moved to the posterior part of the disk since it was displaced in the anterior-medial direction. In conclusion, in the healthy joint, the highest stresses were located in the lateral zone of the disk where perforations are found most often in the clinical experience. On the other hand, the results obtained in the damaged joints suggested that the disruption of the disk attachments may cause an anterior displacement of the disk and instability of the joint.

Copyright © 2006 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Finite element model of the TMJ

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Figure 2

Schematic diagram of fibers distribution in the articular disk and finite element model of the disk

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Figure 3

Diagram of the mandible where the plane of movement is defined. The displacement is imposed on the condyle at P.

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Figure 4

Displacement of the right condyle on the plane of movement (X and Y) and its rotation (Θ). In continuous lines, the input displacement introduced in the FE simulation; in dotted lines, the results obtained by Chen (34)

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Figure 5

Details of the two pathologic situations under study: on the left, disruption of the retrodiscal tissue; on the right, disruption of the lateral attachment of the disk to the condyle

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Figure 6

Evolution of the opening movement of the jaw: Closed position (left), 10.5mm opening (middle), 17.5mm opening (right)

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Figure 7

Evolution of the maximum principal (SMAX), minimum principal (SMIN) stresses, and pore pressure (PRESS) in the disk during the opening movement. Top and bottom surfaces of the disk are shown, with the following labels: A, anterior; P, Posterior; L, Lateral; and M, Medial.

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Figure 8

Evolution of maximal principal stresses (SMAX) in the temporomandibular ligament and in the collateral ligaments during opening. These elements are shown in lateral and medial views.

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Figure 9

Comparison of the maximal principal (SMAX) and minimal principal (SMIN) stresses in the disk between a healthy joint and one where the retrodiscal tissue has been removed (damaged)

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Figure 10

Comparison of the maximal principal (SMAX) and minimal principal (SMIN) stresses in the disk between the healthy joint and one where the lateral attachment of the disk has been removed (damaged)




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