A randomized controlled trial of superior and inferior temporomandibular joint space injection with hyaluronic acid in treatment of anterior disc displacement without reduction

Xing Long, Guoxin Chen, Andrew Hua an Cheng, Yong Cheng, Mohong Deng, Hengxing Cai, Qinggong Meng
Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 2009, 67 (2): 357-61

PURPOSE: To compare the outcome of inferior and superior joint space injection of sodium hyaluronate in patients with disc displacement without reduction of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: One hundred twenty patients with disc displacement without reduction of TMJ were randomized into 2 experimental groups. One group of patients received superior joint space injections of sodium hyaluronate and the other group was treated with inferior joint space injections. Patient's TMJ status and clinical symptoms were evaluated at the 3 and 6 month follow-up appointments. The clinical parameters recorded were maximal mouth opening (MMO), pain intensity on a visual analog scale (VAS), and modified Helkimo's clinical dysfunction index and analyzed with ANCOVA.

RESULTS: Fifty of the superior and 54 of the inferior joint space injection therapy group returned for the 3 and 6 month evaluations; 86.67% of the patients were retained in the follow-up. MMO, VAS, and Helkimo's index of both groups improved at the 3 and 6 month follow-ups. The results of MMO changes and TMJ function were almost the same in both groups at 3 month follow-up. However, there was a significant reduction in TMJ pain in the inferior joint injection group at 3 month follow-up compared with the superior joint injection group (P< .001). There were also significant differences between the inferior joint injection group and superior joint injection group in MMO (P< .005), VAS (P< .001), and Helkimo's index (P< .001) at 6 month follow-up.

CONCLUSION: This study showed that inferior joint space injection with sodium hyaluronate is a valid method of treating disc displacement without reduction of TMJ and a long-term study will be needed to assess the effect of inferior joint injection on the morphologic changes of the TMJ.

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