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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board

TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Board Index

Hi, I am new to the Health Boards and have spend many, many hours reading through the hundreds of posts on TMJ and have already learned a lot. I have had issues with TMJ for about 25 years. It started out just being a nuisance clicking and popping about 25 years ago, but no real pain. About 5 years ago, it started to get really bad with terrible right-sided jaw pain, terrible ear pain, and just general right-sided face pain. I went to an oral surgeon who just recommended ice, tylenol, and resting the joint. I had already been doing this and knew that I needed more than that. About 6 years ago, I spent about $30,000 doing restorative dental work (crowns, root canals, etc.) which was supposed to correct my bite and give me relief from my TMJ. I should say that about a year before all this dental work and the reason I did the dental work, is that I had may gallbladder removed and realized after I got home that my jaw was hurting many times more than the incisions from the gallbladder removal. My TMJ was not bad before this and I did not think to tell the nurses or surgeon that I had mild TMJ. This was the first surgery I had ever had and didn't know that the tube going down my throat could make my TMJ worse. Anyway, after all the dental work, I did not get relief from my TMJ pain and ended up going to the above oral surgeon. Since she did not offer much in the way of treatment, I spent the next 5 years in pain management. My symptoms have recently exacerbated (dizziness, trouble swallowing, and increased pain) so I went to a maxillofacial specialist. She sent me for an MRI first and we took the results to the appointment. Bottom line, she says that my left side is worse than my right side (the side I have all the pain in) and that both discs are dislocated and wadded up like tin foil and my bones are beginning to show deterioration. She said the only treatment is surgery (arthroplasty with discectomy and fat graph). She has recommended I see Dr. Mark Piper (since I live in FL). I have set up a consultation with him ($1800.00), but I am wondering if there is any more conservative treatment that I should do before considering surgery. We were completely stunned when she said "surgery" because it was NOT what we expected. She said that conservative treatment would not help me because my problem was functional and my bones were deteriorating. She said that if I let it continue, then I was looking at total joint replacement. I would really appreciate any advice anyone can give me. Finding Health Boards has been such a blessing and I would really appreciate advice from other TMJ sufferers. Thanks!

I have been told by a very well recommended Dr. in Jacksonville that my MRI shows that my only option for repair is surgery. Both my discs out way out of place and crumpled like tin foil. The bones are starting to deteriorate and she says the longer I wait the more they will deteriorate and I will be looking at Total Joint Repacement. Right now she is recommending Arthroplasty with discectomy and fat graph with Dr. Mark Piper. I very much want to stay away from surgery, but understand that my problem is functional, not muscular. Is there any hope for me to try some of these more conventional therapies and not rush into surgery? Would really appreciate some input and advice. Thank you very much!

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