Read the Latest News

Pain Drawings: An Important Tool for Health Care Practitioners

Last year we shared with you a study in which investigators found patients with more severe and chronic TMD are likely to experience other persistent pain conditions in other parts of the body, seemingly unrelated to problems in the jaw or face. Yet patients often do not mention these "overlapping" or "comorbid" pain conditions when they see a dentist or health care provider.

Primary Temporomandibular Disorders and Comorbid Conditions

The aim of this study is to evaluate the distribution of the most common comorbid conditions associated with chronic temporomandibular disorders, and the pharmacological agents which play an integral role in the overall management of temporomandibular joint disorders. Abstract: INTROD

Overdiagnosis and Unnecessary Therapy

Many dental practitioners continue to use radiographic or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) as the sole means of establishing that there is a pathology present that requires treatment.

TMD Self-Management Programs

Self-management (SM) programs in temporomandibular disease (TMD) are a core component of pain management of TMD throughout its course and are often given to patients as a first essential step after diagnosis.

Honor Families Who Bravely Battle TMD

If you haven't done so already, please join me in making a year-end contribution to The TMJ Association (TMJA) in the honor of families like mine and yours who bravely battle this disease each and every day. Since my daughter, Alexandra, b

ARTHROTOMY

  • Jun 18, 2014

Arthrotomy, also known as Arthroplasty, is an open joint procedure done under general anesthesia in the hospital. The recovery is significantly longer, three to eight8 weeks, and more painful than the TMJ Arthrocentesis or TMJ Arthroscopy.

An incision is made similar to a face lift incision (along the ear), and the joint space is exposed for the surgeon to see. This allows for the removal of adhesions, osteophytes (bone spurs), fibrous or bony ankylosis (fusion), tumors, etc. This reshaping of the joint is called Arthroplasty.

The surgeon can also repair discs by suturing them into place (Discoplasty), remove discs (Discectomy), or implant anything from a temporalis muscle graft, to a rib. Some of the types of various procedures that are done through an open joint operation.

  • Discoplasty. This inovolves surgically putting the disc back into its normal position when it is displaced.
  • Discectomy. This provides disc removal. Some surgeons use a temporalis muscle or dermal graft to replace the disc.  Others do not put anything in its place.
  • Arthroplasty. Reshaping of the condyle and fossa when there are arthritic changes.
  • Temporalis Muscle Graft. A piece of your temple muscle (temporalis) is slid into the joint space to prevent bone on bone contact.
  • Temporary Silicone Implants. Silicone sheeting has been used in the past to act as a pseudo-disc. Silicone sheeting specifically marketed for the TMJ was voluntarily withdrawn from the market in 1993. After the TMJ implant fiasco of the early ninties, the FDA asked for pre-market approval on ALL devices to be implanted in the TMJ.  No company submitted the required safety testing or pre-market approval paperwork for silicone. If a doctor mentions using silicone, he is doing it off-label. Beware! The FDA says on its Consumer Information page, “FDA is presently working with manufacturers to appropriately label silicone sheeting with warnings against its use in the TMJ implant.”
  • Rib Grafts. These are used to replace the condyle.

Back to Surgery