Biomechanical analysis of bone remodeling following mandibular reconstruction using fibula free flap

Nobuhiro Yoda, Keke Zheng, Junning Chen, Zhipeng Liao, Shigeto Koyama, Christopher Peck, Michael Swain, Keiichi Sasaki, Qing Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Whilst the newly established biomechanical conditions following mandibular reconstruction using fibula free flap can be a critical determinant for achieving favorable bone union, little has been known about their association in a time-dependent fashion. This study evaluated the bone healing/remodeling activity in reconstructed mandible and its influence on jaw biomechanics using CT data, and further quantified their correlation with mechanobiological responses through an in-silico approach. A 66-year-old male patient received mandibular reconstruction was studied. Post-operative CT scans were taken at 0, 4, 16 and 28 months. Longitudinal change of bone morphologies and mineral densities were measured at three bone union interfaces (two between the fibula and mandibular bones and one between the osteotomized fibulas) to investigate bone healing/remodeling events. Three-dimensional finite element models were created to quantify mechanobiological responses in the bone at these different time points. Bone mineral density increased rapidly along the bone interfaces over the first four months. Cortical bridging formed at the osteotomized interface earlier than the other two interfaces with larger shape discrepancy between fibula and mandibular bones. Bone morphology significantly affected mechanobiological responses in the osteotomized region (R2 > 0.77). The anatomic position and shape discrepancy at bone union affected the bone healing/remodeling process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalMedical Engineering and Physics
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun


  • Bone remodeling
  • Fibula free flap
  • Finite element analysis
  • Jaw biomechanics
  • Mandibular reconstruction


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