I've been after this subject awhile (yeah awhile...) and, for your case, this post on zbc
will throw more clues...
Will be great if you can let us know how this method works, since I felt overwhelmed at certain point to experiment with so many setting tweaks in order to make things work smoothly..
Simply, you do not want to change any vertex order in im/export process in order to make this work. However, I found certain version of max (which I use mainly) with or without certain service pack, will act different that may cause vertex order changed.