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Seventh Scientific Meeting of The TMJ Association

The Seventh Scientific Meeting of The TMJ Association - Genetic and Epigenetic Basis of Temporomandibular Disorders and Related Chronic Overlapping Conditions Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, Bethesda, MD, September 7-9, 2014

Let’s hear it for Mindfulness Meditation!

The National Institutes of Health re-established a cross-institute Pain Consortium about a decade ago to increase pain research and promote inter-institute collaboration. The consortium holds annual symposia and invites young investigators to submit post

Is Botox Safe and Effective for TMD?

As TMJ patients search for alternative treatments to manage their pain, a doctor may have suggested the possibility of trying Botox injections directly into the chewing (masseter and temporalis) muscles to relax these muscles.

Social Security Disability Benefits and Temporomandibular Disorders

Last month we began our report on findings in OPPERA's Act Two," the second series of analyses of data from the Orofacial Pain Prospective Evaluation and Risk Assessment (OPPERA) study, which enrolled healthy volunteers at four campus sites in C

Who Owns YOUR TMJ Implant?

Especially during this past year, it’s been brought to our attention by a number of TMJ implant patients having their implants removed that their surgeon told them the devices MUST be returned to the manufacturer. We asked the Senate Health, Educat

ARTHROSCOPY

  • Jun 18, 2014

TMJ arthroscopy is a procedure that is a little more involved and invasive than an arthrocentesis done with two hypodermic needles. This procedure is almost always done in an outpatient facility in the hospital. An arthroscope is used to look inside your joint to see what is causing your problems. Some surgeons will not only look inside and wash out the joint, but also perform surgical procedures like removing scar tissue, smoothing the bone and even attempt repositioning the disc.

You will be checked in prior to your surgery time and an IV will be started. The anesthesiologist will visit and take a look at your mouth opening and discuss the anesthetic procedure. Usually, before the surgery, the surgeon will visit you to discuss what he will be doing and what it will be like when you wake up. You should have had a pre-operative appointment to discuss all of this information, so this is just to make sure you have no additional questions. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions you may have. No question is a dumb question.

After this, the anesthesiologist or nurse will probably give you some medicine to help you relax, and then, you are off to the operating room. You might remember this or you might not. If you do, you will notice that the room is very cold and that there are a lot of people buzzing around getting ready for your surgery. Take a deep breath and close your eyes- try not to let it bother you. After all, they are all there to make sure you are okay. If at any point you aren’t, speak up!

When you wake up, you will be in the recovery room. You might feel pain in your jaw joint from the surgery. Please let the nurses know if you are in pain, because they are there to give you medication and make sure you are comfortable.

Recovery time from this surgery is several days to a week. You will probably want to take off from work for three days or so, but make sure the time off is flexible in case you need extra time. Your surgeon may tell you to maintain your soft diet for a few weeks. After several days, you will probably start jaw exercises or physical therapy.

As with all surgeries, there are advantages and disadvantages to this procedure. It does allow the surgeon to look into the joint and remove any adhesions or any other pathologic tissue. The recovery is shorter and easier than with an open joint procedure and the scar is smaller (virtually undetectable). However, this surgery takes longer than an arthrocentesis done with only hypodermic needles and requires general anesthesia. Also, many studies have reported that arthrocentesis with hypodermic needles can be equally successful as arthroscopy. Because of this, and the fact that arthrocentesis with needles is so much easier to perform, many surgeons may advise doing that first.

As with all invasive procedures, we recommend exhausting all conservative options first and getting independent opinions before submitting to any surgery.

Latest in TMJ Science for Arthroscopy

  • Arthroscopy for temporomandibular disorders  "Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is a term describing problems with the chewing muscles or the jaw joint and associated structures, or both. There are different types of treatments for TMDs. Arthroscopy (a form of surgery) has been used to reduce signs and symptoms of patients with TMD, but the effectiveness has still not been totally explained. This review found no differences after treatment in mandibular functionality or in clinical evaluations. Arthroscopy led to greater improvement in maximum interincisal opening after 12 months than arthrocentesis. When compared with arthroscopy, open surgery was more effective at reducing pain after 12 months." (May 11, 2011)

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