What is Open Joint Arthroplasty for Temporomandibular Disorder?


temporomandibular joint Image: webmd.com
temporomandibular joint
Image: webmd.com

A member of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons Political Action Committee, Rocky Cullens, DDS, has provided oral healthcare for almost 15 years. Specializing in oral maxillofacial surgery, Dr. Rocky Cullens received his DDS from University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry. He is trained in  surgery.

Open joint arthroplasty for temporomandibular disorder involves surgery of the disc that cushions the joint in the jaw. Through an incision made exposing the jaw, open joint arthroplasty surgery for TMJ disorder allows the surgeon to repair, reposition or remove parts of the articular disc or to replace parts of the disc with an artificial disc or harvested tissue from the patient themselves. In addition to disc material, bony growths or scar tissue in the jaw joint may also be removed. Temporomandibular disorder surgery is performed on an outpatient basis and under general anesthesia, allowing the individual to be released from the surgeon’s care the same day.

Post-operative treatments include prescription pain and anti-swelling medications, as well as physical therapy to encourage movement and prevent the formation of scar tissue. In specific situations, patients may be prescribed a mouthpiece or splint to assist with rehabilitation of the jaw.


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