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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board

TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Board Index

So I was hoping that those who have undergone open joint surgery (with or without a graft) suturing the displaced discs back into place could tell me how long and painful the revovery process is. My doctor says I will have my jaw wired shut for 10 days (liquid diet only during this part), followed by a soft foods diet. I will miss 2-3 weeks of work. My real question is, how much pain can I expect to be in and do the pain relievers help that much? Will I look like a freak while my incisions heal (i.e., swollen face, bandages around my head, etc.)? When can I start eating normal food again? I have not made a decision yet, so all the information I can get my hands on will help me make this critical choice.

I went and got that second opinion and he said he could make me an occlusal splint that would adjust my bite so that my jaw and face muscles could finally relax. However, he did say that it probably wouldn't reverse the already advanced degerative state of my joint and soft tissue (displaced and shredded discs). But that it might halt any further degeneration, and if so, maybe I won't need surgery (but maybe I will). Only time will tell. I think it boils down to the fact that there are two types of TMJ disorders: muscular issues and joint pathology, both of which I have. The splint can only address the muscular effect, and surgery can only address joint pathology. The more I think about it, the more I think that I will need both splint therapy AND surgery due to the holes in my disc.

Any comments much appreciated!
Hi. I had the surgery 10 years ago, and I truly don't remember my recovery time. I was only 24, so I'm sure it was quick. My surgeon is a tmj specialist who is also a plastic surgeon. He put an incision in front of each ear, and I've never had a scar. I think I was on a liquid, soft diet for about 3 or 4 months afterwards. Physical therapy was the biggest ordeal. 3 days a week of pure torture. But, I got a very serious opening from it. I can't remember swelling too bad though. I didn't get my mouth wired shut either because I had to start opening it the day after the surgery. I'm having my discs removed on Feb. 1st, and they won't do the surgery without a physical therapy appointment for the following day when I'm released. So, I'll have to be opening my mouth by then. I'm dreading this part, but I have to do it. My doctor says I should take at least a week off of work for this one. Of course, I'm a stay at home mom and can't take any time off, but oh well. I don't know if I helped, but good luck.

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