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Open-joint arthroplasty is surgery to repair, reposition, replace, or remove parts in a joint. When used to treat temporomandibular disorder (TMD), this usually involves the articular disc that cushions the jaw joint.
During open-joint arthroplasty of the jaw, an incision is made in the skin to expose the jaw joint. The surgeon may repair, reposition, or replace the disc with your own tissue or an artificial disc. Scar tissue or bony growths in the jaw joint can also be removed.
Open-joint arthroplasty is done under general anesthesia. You can normally expect to go home the same day.
When jaw joint movement cannot be regained because the disc has changed too much or the joint has broken down, the surgeon may need to remove the disc (discectomy) and replace it with an artificial disc.
After surgery, medicines are prescribed to relieve pain and reduce swelling. You can start physiotherapy within 48 hours to maintain movement and prevent scar tissue from forming. You may be given a mouthpiece (splint) to wear while rehabilitating your jaw.
Open-joint arthroplasty is used when:
Disc repositioning surgery can relieve pain and improve jaw function. This surgery has good results 80% to 95% of the time.footnote 1
Possible complications include:
CitationsTucker MR, et al. (2008). Management of temporomandibular disorders. In JR Hupp et al., eds., Contemporary Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, 5th ed., pp. 629–649. St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.
Current as of: October 27, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Elizabeth T. Russo MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
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