Accuracy and reproducibility of virtual cutting guides and 3D-navigation for osteotomies of the mandible and maxilla


We set out to determine the accuracy of 3D-navigated mandibular and maxillary osteotomies with the ultimate aim to integrate virtual cutting guides and 3D-navigation into ablative and reconstructive head and neck surgery.


Four surgeons (two attending, two clinical fellows) completed 224 unnavigated and 224 3D-navigated osteotomies on anatomical models according to preoperative 3D plans. The osteotomized bones were scanned and analyzed.


Median distance from the virtual plan was 2.1 mm unnavigated (IQR 2.6 mm, ≥3 mm in 33%) and 1.2 mm 3D-navigated (IQR 1.1 mm, ≥3 mm in 6%) (P<0.0001); median pitch was 4.5° unnavigated (IQR 7.1°) and 3.5° 3D-navigated (IQR 4.0°) (P<0.0001); median roll was 7.4° unnavigated (IQR 8.5°) and 2.6° 3D-navigated (IQR 3.8°) (P<0.0001).


3D-rendering enables osteotomy navigation. 3 mm is an appropriate planning distance. The next steps are translating virtual cutting guides to free bone flap reconstruction and clinical use.