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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board

TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Board Index

Hi Chicklet,

Thankyou so much for replying! I haven't been on the boards for a while as I've been trying to sort out the mess re my jaw, such a confusing process talking to surgeons and dentists!! It's all quite depressing & sometimes its just easier to ignore all my problems I find! But anyway, I was reading your previous situation is a bit different. I didnt go through the clicking phase, just one day my mouth wouldnt open beyond 20mm. I've now been locked for 22 months, I've really struggled to find doctors in Melbourne that can help me..i just tried valium, physiotherapy, then just gave up for the last 8 months. Anyway I have found a dentist that at least deals with TMJ now, but he said only options are arthrocentis or get a surgeon to do an arthroscopy on both sides. I could try a splint, but he thinks unlikely to work since ive been locked for so long. Mri showed anterior displacement on both sides without reduction ie disc permanently stuck forward & says that no lubrication in the joints.

Im so glad to hear that you're doing well after the arthroscopy...did the drooping eyebrow issue resolve itself? I was told that this can happen, but usually gets better by itself. How long were you locked before you had the arthroscopy? The surgeon is quite concerned that since Ive been locked for so long that the physiotherapy required will be very long. How many sessions did you have? Is your mouth working pretty much normally now & were there any other complications? I heard the main risks are hearing loss, facial nerve damage...I'm really terrified as Im only 26, but I am seriously looking into the arthsrocopy. Did you get both joints done?
Violet 89,
The eyebrow droop went away after a few months, it took that long to notice that I can move my eyebrow again. It wasn't a looks issue it was an annoyance because I could feel the droop on my eyelid and like you, nerve damage was my biggest fear going into the surgery so to me that made me nervous but it did eventually go away. The actually surgery site by ear was numb for a long time, as in you could only feel touch slightly there and that to has come a long way. So no real loss anywhere due to surgery. I wasn't locked for as long as you have been, little less than a yr. I had pain and clicking but than one day it was locked and after a while I started looking into TMJ more because my doctors here told me it was nothing.After trying some less severe methods for about 3 months I had the arthosentesis done on my left right side. This was a failure for me. Right after procedure I could open wider but by end of day I was right back at around 22, this was a major blow to me because I was really hoping it would work and I would not have to have surgery. I took time to decide if I really wanted to go arthoscopy root, to me it is a big deal, but in the long run I couldn't see anyway of it getting better. I had been in splints for as long as locked and there was no improvement there so I went for it.As I said the recovery was a bit tough and you have to be patient and diligent with the excercises after. Each day I was able to go a bit further, infact I was a little anxious everyday worried that it wouldn't hold and I would lock up but I didn't. As regards to back to normal, I don't think once you have problems like we do you are ever normal again but Im doing preety good. I have opening of about 38-40 now, three fingers wide.I know when I have done to much, and on those days I take a muscle relaxer and it helps a bit. I still where my splint to bed every night as my specialists says thats ok and it was up to me.Im not pain free or headache free but I tink much of that is due to my left side, but I didnt want to do both at same time and for me that was ok.I only had arthroscopy done on my right side as thats the one that was locked. My left side is messed to but for now Im dealing with it, one problem at a time.I am super conscious if im stressing the muscles or tensing up during the day, I am a stress person per say and need to learn to relax better.
I can't say I know what your going thru because we are all different but we do have some things in common. Me being 24 was also so nervous about starting down this surgery road, figuring once I start thats the beginning of the end. But I told myself to take one day at a time and not worry about 1 yr or 10 5 yrs down the road, just now and for now the surgery was good option .Try not to stress yourself out, which I know is so hard to do. I took months finding a specialist that was good and now that you have found a doctor hopefully he can help you.
Feel free to ask any questions or just your concerns, I wish I had someone to bounce all my nerves and questions off of. Stay positive;)
Hey Chicklet102!!

So glad to hear you are going well :) My bilateral arthroscopy surgery is scheduled for the end of the month- I AM VERY SCARED. But I have been locked for 2 years now & it has really diminished in opening in the last month..I am fed up of it...I'm really struggling to eat and get food in my mouth these days, even brushing is now difficult- i have to use a little kid's toothbrush. The odds are a bit against me though as I have been locked so long, apparently the adhesions/degeneration will be more severe than if I had had the surgery earlier. But you mentioned you were locked for about a year didnt you? You didnt mention if you clench/grind? I saw a dentist recently who said splint therapy afterwards is very important otherwise my joints wont heal as easily (as I am a SEVERE clencher) and I could lock up again...apparently arthroscopies rarely give really long term results and need to be redone???

Lately I have been getting really teary and have been crying when I think of having the surgery, Im so scared that it wont get better and then what do I do??? Its so confusing when so man people tell you not to have surgery and then you wait so long & then now I've been told that it was a big mistake to wait. But I guess people will always find excuses for why things dont work...

Just wondering how do they give you the general anesthetic\oxygen during surgery when you're mouth doesnt open, does the tubes go up your nose? Ive heard that aftewards your nose hurts....but i guess thats the least of my worries!!!

Noone I know has any idea about TMJ and everyone acts like a lock jaw is really weird, noone understands the problems of TMJ. Everyone thinks that I'll be fine after the surgery- and thats the end of it, they dont get that youre mouth will never be normal again and that it is a constant battle to keep it functioning.

Take care
Hi there

This is my first time posting on these boards. I followed this thread between violet89 and Chicklet102 in regards to arthroscopy and was wondering how you're both going?

Chicklet102, I know you've had it done and were feeling pretty good the last time you posted. Violet89, I know yours was coming up the last time you posted, and I'm guessing if you went ahead with it, you would have had it done by now. I also notice you're in Melbourne. I'm in Sydney and it's a struggle to find reputable surgeons as opposed to The States. Admittedly, I haven't looked very hard yet as I've only just started considering the idea at the moment.

I'm a 31 year old male and live in Sydney. My TMJ disorder has gotten progressively worse over the years. Was just a click for so long and I ignored it... never felt any pain so I just disregarded it. Over the last couple of years I stopped popping it and tried to leave it alone and see if it healed after seeing a specialist. It now opens to the right side and I nearly get a 3 finger wide opening. It's not too painful but I'm constantly aware of it. My biggest issue is my left ear. It's full all the time and buzzes, rings and pops constantly. Does my head in at times.

I'm seeing a NM dentist (different one to the first specialist) at the moment and have been wearing an LVI orthotic for the last few months (One for day and one for night). Haven't noticed any difference but my dentist assures me that we've stabilised the bite and should consider PT next. I'm also a night time grinder with sleep apnoea and have nasal reconstruction scheduled for June 15 to deal with my air ways and hopefully deal with the night time grinding.

My current dentist wants me to keep my chin up and not think about surgery but I just want to deal with this TMJ disorder and feel like I'd do anything to be back to normal - high hopes I know but hey I'm trying to stay positive here ;)

Sorry to have rambled on a bit but I'd love to know how you're both going having both had arthroscopic surgery and whether or not you'd recommend it.

Hope to hear from you soon :)

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