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Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library Open-Joint Arthroplasty for Temporomandibular Disorders

Open-Joint Arthroplasty for Temporomandibular Disorders

Surgery Overview

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.

What To Expect

What To Expect

After surgery, medicines are prescribed to relieve pain and reduce swelling. You can start physical therapy 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.

Why It Is Done

Why It Is Done

Open-joint arthroplasty is used when:

  • There are bony growths within the jaw joint. Such growths are hard to reach with arthroscopic methods.
  • Complications from a previous surgery occur, such as the failure of an artificial joint replacement.
  • The joint is fused together by bony growth (ankylosis).
  • The joint is not accessible with arthroscopic surgery.

Learn more

How Well It Works

How Well It Works

Disc repositioning surgery can relieve pain and improve jaw function. This surgery has good results most of the time.

Risks

Risks

Possible complications include:

  • Loss of jaw movement. Everyone has some decrease in jaw mobility after surgery, because the jaw heals with scar tissue, which is harder and tighter than normal tissue. But jaw exercises will help jaw movement.
  • Adverse reaction to the materials in an artificial disc. The risk of tissue rejection is higher if artificial materials, rather than your own tissue, are used.
  • Other problems such as infection, nerve damage, or hearing loss.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

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