What is Temporomandibular Joint Arthroscopy?
Issues related to the complex jaw joint are called TemporoMandibular Joint (TMJ) disorders. TMJ is the joint that connects the the jaw to the skull. There are certain serious TMJ conditions which may cause serious problems. However, early diagnosis and right treatment can be helpful. Correction surgery is the main treatment option which can fix the TMJ problem completely.
How the surgery is carried out?
In an arthroscopic jaw surgery, an arthroscope is inserted through a small incision made in the skin. Through the arthroscope, the surgeon inserts other surgical instrument to do the procedure. An arthroscopy can be used to correct various issues of the joint:
- Reshape parts of the jawbone
- Remove thickened cartilage and scar tissue
- Flush the joint
- Tighten the joint to limit movement
- Insert anti-inflammatory medicine
The procedure will be carried out under general anesthesia. The required time for the surgery may vary according to different types of procedure.
What about the post-operative care and rehabilitation?
The doctor may suggest physical therapy within 48 hours after the surgery. This is to maintain the mobility and prevent the formation of scar tissue. The patient may need to limit the jaw movement for a few weeks or a month. The doctor may also suggest a diet of soft and liquid foods.
What are the risks and complications of TMJ arthroscopy?
Some potential risks and complications of TMJ arthoscopy may include:
Temporary or permanent hearing loss
Temporary nerve damage
Outer, middle, or inner ear damage
Minimal post-operative pain is very common. The patient will be able to drink and eat right after the surgery. It may take 1-3 weeks to have a full recovery. During the recovery period, the doctor may suggest the patients to control their diet to soft foods and have physical therapy.
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