In 1989, Maxime Champy (Strasbourg, France), Dieter Pape, Klaus Gerlach (Cologne, Germany) and Leen de Zeeuw (Tuttlingen, Germany) founded the now reputable Strasbourg Osteosynthesis Research Group to advocate a new rationale in the treatment of fractures of the mandible. SORG promoted stable dynamic osteosynthesis using so-called miniplates positioned along the ideal osteosynthesis line.
Prior to this, fixation of mandibular fractures was based on the empirical concept of the absolute need for a rigid osteosynthesis with a rigid plate. Spiessl and Luhr had emphasized the value of axial compression. The difficulty of such treatment and the requirement for a cutaneous approach (and associated risk of facial nerve injury and scarring) presented problems for both patients and surgeons. In addition, the difficulty in adapting a rigid plate to the requirements of the occlusion became clear. Despite this, Souyris (Montpellier) and Michelet (Bordeaux) promoted this concept of rigidity regardless of any biomechanical research and without any consideration for a potential intraoral approach.
The first truly scientific and biomechanical study of fractured mandible treatment developed from research was carried out by M. Champy from 1971 to 1973 at the Faculty of Medicine of Strasbourg in association with the ENSAIS (High School of Arts and Industry). The new principles established by this study were neutralization of traction forces, reestablishment of normal compression forces, and consequent neutralization of shearing and torsion forces.
The various stages of the study were:
A new rationale in the surgical treatment of mandibular fractures was derived from these biomechanical studies, an intraoral approach with specific plates providing stable fixation on the ideal line of osteosynthesis. The correct naming of this technique is stable dynamic miniplate osteosynthesis.
Later Champy demonstrated that bone healing of the mandible is periosteal and not a primary bone healing providing further evidence for less invasive intraoral approaches.
The use of small adaptable plates is now common practice and routinely used in traumatology, orthognathic and reconstructive mandibular, facial and cranial bone surgery.
S.O.R.G. has developed into a well-established increasing community of respected CMF surgeons, active in all aspects of research and education. Above all, they are a group of esteemed presenters teaching within S.O.R.G. Academy in which Maxime Champy’s principles of miniplate osteosynthesis are still one of the cornerstones of evidence-based practice.