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Surgical Treatment for TMJ

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint that connects the lower jaw (the mandible) to the temporal bone of the skull (the temporal bone). If the TMJ joint is damaged because of trauma, arthritis, and teeth clenching or grinding (bruxism), you may suffer serious pain, difficulty speaking or chewing, and other problems. If non-surgical treatments fail to yield results, the surgeon may resort to surgical treatments, such as open-joint arthroplasty.

What is Open-Joint Arthroplasty?

Open-joint arthroplasty is a surgical procedure that can repair, reposition, replace, or even replace parts of a damaged joint. When it comes to TMJ disorders, open-joint arthroplasty usually involves removing or repairing the articular disc surrounding the jaw joint. The surgeon may also remove unwanted scar tissues and bony growths in the jaw joints, which can’t be removed using other procedures, such as arthroscopy. Open-joint arthroplasty is a complex surgery, so it’s only performed if all other solutions fail or are deemed unsuitable.

Open-Joint Arthroplasty Is Performed If:

  • The jaw joint has bony outgrowths that can’t be reached with arthroscopy
  • There are complications because of artificial joint replacement or a prior surgery
  • The joint is fused together because of ankylosis, i.e., bony growth
  • The joint is not accessible with a standard arthroscopy

The Open-Joint Arthroplasty Surgical Process

Dr. Fathimani performs an open-joint arthroplasty under general anesthesia, so you’re asleep throughout the procedure. The surgeon makes a strategic incision to expose the jaw joint, following which the articular disc that cushions the joint is removed, repaired, or replaced with your own tissues. The surgeon also removes bony outgrowths and scar tissues from the joint. Finally, the incisions are closed, and the recovery process can begin.

Open-Joint Arthroplasty: Recovery & Downtime

You can return home the same day as your surgery. Your surgeon will prescribe pain medications and antibiotics to alleviate pain, reduce swelling, and prevent infections. After 48 hours, you will have to start physical therapy to prevent the formation of scar tissues and maintain mobility. You may also have to wear a splint to rehabilitate your jaw. The recovery period is minimal, but you’ll have to take a few days off work and other activities.

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Schedule Your Consultation

Dr. Kayvan Fathimani is a triple-board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon specializing in cutting-edge surgical techniques to improve jaw health. Dr. Fathimani listens to your symptoms and concerns, discusses your goals, administers imaging tests, understands the root cause of TMJ disorder, and curates a personalized treatment plan. He always starts TMJ treatments with lifestyle changes and non-surgical treatments, such as medications and injections, and only recommends surgery when all else fails. Please schedule a consultation to explore your TMJ treatment options in Lone Tree, Colorado.

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