OBJECTIVE To evaluate biomechanical properties of intact feline mandibles, compared with those for mandibles with an experimentally created osteotomy that was stabilized with 1 of 2 internal fixation configurations. SAMPLE 20 mandibles from 10 adult feline cadavers. PROCEDURES An incomplete block study design was used to assign the mandibles of each cadaver to 2 of 3 groups (locking plate with locking screws [locking con-struct], locking plate with nonlocking screws [nonlocking construct], or intact). Within each cadaver, mandibles were randomly assigned to the assigned treatments. For mandibles assigned to the locking and nonlocking constructs, a simple transverse osteotomy was created caudal to the mandibular first molar tooth after plate application. All mandibles were loaded in cantilever bending in a single-load-to-failure test while simultaneously recording load and actuator displacement. Mode of failure (bone or plate failure) was recorded, and radiographic evidence of tooth root and mandibular canal damage was evaluated. Mechanical properties were compared among the 3 groups. RESULTS Stiffness, bending moments, and most post-yield energies for mandibles with the locking and nonlocking constructs were significantly lower than those for intact mandibles. Peak bending moment and stiffness for mandibles with the locking construct were significantly greater than those for mandibles with the nonlocking construct. Mode of failure and frequency of screw damage to tooth roots and the mandibular canal did not differ between the locking and nonlocking constructs. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that both fixation constructs were mechanically inferior to intact mandibles. The locking construct was mechanically stronger than the nonlocking construct.
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