TMJ arthroscopy in patients with Ehlers Danlos syndrome: case series

Waseem Jerjes, Tahwinder Upile, Priya Shah, Syedda Abbas, Anna Vincent, Colin Hopper
Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology, and Endodontics 2010, 110 (2): e12-20

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this report was to assess the outcome of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) arthroscopy in patients with temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) associated with Ehlers Danlos syndrome (EDS).

STUDY DESIGN: This retrospective case series describes 18 patients with EDS who underwent arthroscopy for temporomandibular disorders. The patients' demographics were recorded, along with preoperative TMJ symptoms, Wilkes classification, mouth opening, and the presence of systemic involvement. The incidence of early and late postoperative complications and the final outcome were noted.

RESULTS: All of the patients were females, with EDS Type III, and had a mean age of 34 years. A high proportion of the patients had joints other than the TMJ affected. Five patients were classified as stage II according to the Wilkes classification, 9 patients were stage III, 3 patients were stage IV, and only 1 patient was diagnosed with stage V Wilkes before intervention. Arthroscopy, followed by arthrocentesis and balloon dilatation of the affected TMJs was performed and intra-articular morphine injections were given to all patients. The main pre- and early postoperative complaint was pain, but this resolved in most cases. Improvement of mouth opening was noted from 23.4 +/- 4.2 to 27.8 +/- 5.1 mm after arthroscopy. Patients were followed for an average of 62 months and all were asymptomatic at their last review appointment.

CONCLUSION: For patients where conservative measures of treating TMD are not effective, arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that has been shown to result in a satisfactory outcome, with no need to resort to open joint surgery. This case series is limited by its size and further research on surgical intervention on EDS patients with temporomandibular disorders is recommended.

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