It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....

TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board

TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Board Index

[QUOTE=tmjfighter;5231132]How long was your recovery and what kind of meds. did you need for pain? I was told one night in the hospital and then they would like me to stay neraby because I'm 4and half hrs. away from mayo.I've had three babies and other surgeries. I had sinus surgery about two years age and i think I would have rather had all three babies at once than go through that again!! I just need a honest opinion on what to expect rith after the surgery and recovery time. I have a pretty high pain tolerance but am run down because of this constant daily pain/headaches and poor sleep. I'm surprised you are going back next week. How often and how long do you have to have follow ups? That must be a long trip for you.[/QUOTE]
Hello again,
I think our situations are very similar as far as symptoms before surgery.

I spent one night in the hospital and woke up feeling great the next day. I would caution you that this is very temporary. Once you are fully off the anesthesia and pain meds from surgery, you will be in some pain although it's not unbearable. They also recommended I stayed close by for a week. After about four days though, I was ready to go home and thought I was well enough. The 10 hour trip home was probably the worst part of the whole experience for me. In hindsight, I definitely should've stayed longer. The car trip was very draining and took more energy than I had. The last hour, I was literally crying. Four hours away won't be bad though. I was on some very strong meds that upset my stomach, made me dizzy, and have some funky side effects. After the first week, my pain actually was better but the meds made me sick if I wasn't laying horizontal. It was strange. If you're sensitive it all to meds, I would definitely get some antinausea pills before hand. I actually did better when I was off the pain meds.

The strangest feeling is how large your joints feel. That whole side of your face feels 10 times larger than it is, mostly due to swelling. The strange thing is it will probably be numb so while it feels large you can't feel the touch. I still don't have any feeling in that joint area, and probably won't.

I'm a teacher so I have the summer off, with my surgery being made 27th. Mayo said recovery is about two weeks which definitely would not have been enough for me. It was exactly 2 weeks before I was able to get out of my chase lounger/chair other than the restroom or to get something. I actually had three months to recover and even then it took me about three weeks into the school year for my joint to adjust to talking enough to get through my teaching day without being terribly uncomfortable and sore. But, depending what a person's career is and how much talking is required, you could go back sooner. I literally talk all day, especially the start of the school year. It wasn't the pain that was so debilitating and recovery it was more the limitations and adjusting. Food is quite interesting. They tell you that you can't eat anything you have to chew but that's very literal for six weeks. I started out having a lot of soup, pudding, applesauce, yogurt… But after the second week I started getting more creative like mashing pasta with a fork, using the roof of my mouth to squish things enough to be able to eat them without chewing, and I took a blending wand/stick with me if I went anywhere outside of the home to eat.

They require you to start doing exercises right after surgery, the day of even. And one thing they didn't tell me was to open my mouth seven times a day for seven seconds each and seven different intervals - while stretching/prying without being too painful. A nurse told me that when I called back to Mayo a few weeks later concerned about my lack of opening ability. I wish I had known that from the beginning, rather than just the general comment to making sure I'm using it. (Not opening and using the joint enough will cause scar tissue. If scar tissue forms, your opening will always be inhibited.)

I haven't been back since I left after the surgery. I had seen a local specialist that did his residency under Dr. Keller. I thought that would be enough, but Dr. Keller's staff is pretty adamant that I need to go back. They will want to see you sooner since you're closer, I'm guessing.

One suggestion I have, that I would do different if I could do it over, is to get a private room. The person I shared my room with was up all night and her machines were going off. Which means I had a bad night. Hospital rooms aren't terribly relaxing anyway and that situation made it much worse.

The surgery day itself is a lot of hurrying up to wait. It was a long time waiting to get in, waiting in the prepping room, waiting in the holding room... It's almost a relief just to get into the operating room. I think it's a very long day for our spouses especially.
I think my husband said that from the time they took me to prep until coming out of recovery was seven hours.

They make an incision in front of your ear. And I'm sure they told you that they'll take some fat from your stomach to cushion the joint. Both incisions have healed up so well, you can't even really tell the scar anymore in front of my ear. Dr. Keller has done so many of these, he's a pro.

When the six weeks is up and you can start eating again, that was actually quite hard for me. For some reason, I thought I'd be able to eat like normal. But it was kind of like teaching yourself how to eat all over again. The first food I had was pizza and, it's hard to describe, but your mouth can't move in the same way anymore. I covered my mouth when I tried to chew for about the first three weeks after I started eating. It felt very awkward to me and I couldn't eat/chew with my mouth closed. I'm still self-conscious eating in public places sometimes and will catch myself covering my mouth so people can't see me chew.

The biggest negative change is my decreased opening. I never had opening issues before, even in the worst of my pain. But now, I can't eat things like a hamburgers or hotdog normally, because I can't open my mouth far enough. But to me, that's a very small price to pay for the quality of life I have back. One other change is you won't be able to move your jaw from side to side or front to back. You can't do things like bite your fingernails if you're a nail biter because your teeth can't line up vertically. Brushing my teeth even after I could eat again, took adjusting. You don't realize how your mouth moves in subtle ways on every day things until you can't move that way. My bottom jaw was set back more after surgery than it was before. This is pretty common as a result of the surgery. Dr. Keller lines up your two front teeth - top and bottom as well as your jaw placement, after surgery. It's not always exactly the same as it was before but that wasn't a big issue for me either.

I guess that's the main things that I recall. Let me know if you have any other specific questions. I too had about nine months before surgery where my life had completely changed from the pain and limitations from my TMJ. And like I said, it's so worth it. At this point, everything is better by far than it was.

Do you have a date yet? I'm sure you will have the same success I've had. I'll pray for some guardian angels your way.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:42 AM.

Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
© 1998-2018 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!