Lost Jaw Syndrome

Lost Jaw Syndrome (Class 11 division 1 Malocculusion with increased forebite and overbite with Retrognathic Mandibular and function problems with mastication and tooth attrition)

Breaking a bone in surgery.

One of the reasons to break bones in surgery is to straighten those, which have not grown in the correct position. Osteoclasis is performed and this is similar to breaking a stick over one’s knee. If the bone is weak it gives away with a soft crunch. If the bone is stronger, it sometimes cracks like a stick.

Sometimes we have to break bone using a tool. The skin must be cut and the muscles/tendons/nerves and blood vessels need to be moved out of the way. The first tool is an osteotome (chisel), which is hit with a hammer to make a straight break. The next is a power saw which is really just a sterile power tool with a saw blade. Finally, a drill may be used to make holes like a perforated piece of paper. The bone is then stressed until it snaps like a branch along the drill holes.

Breaking of bone always results in some bleeding from the raw edges, which can be very painful and so the operation is always done under anesthetic.

Whilst the bone is healing, it needs to be kept in the correct position. Jodi’s jaw was held together with wires and intramedullary nails for a period of six weeks.

Dr Steven Roche
Orthopedic Surgeon
Cape Town, September 2006

“Christmas Dinner”

My jaw had been growing skew so the doctor broke it and repositioned it, forcing it to grow in the right direction. I was told it was imperative for me to have this ghastly operation. I am now glad I did.

So there I was on Christmas Eve with a huge fat face, more on the left than the right. Teeth clamped together with metal. It even affected my usually big smile.

Sitting at a long dinner table surrounded by members of my large family, trying not to feel sorry for myself. The turkey was served. The roast pork. The roast chicken. Roast potatoes (sweet and Mediterranean), butternut, cauliflower and broccoli dripping with my Gogo’s unforgettable homemade cheese sauce. Sweet succulent carrots, squash, gravy and perfect little peas grinning at me.

The liquidized soup sipped through a straw was awful.

Cape Town, June 2006

Sandy Coffey ~ Photographic Commissions

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