The efficacy of dextrose prolotherapy for temporomandibular joint hypermobility: a preliminary prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial

Hamida Refai, Obada Altahhan, Rehab Elsharkawy
Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 2011, 69 (12): 2962-70

PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of dextrose prolotherapy for the treatment of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) hypermobility.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: A prospective, randomized, double-blind clinical study using a placebo control was carried out. Twelve patients with painful subluxation or dislocation of the TMJ were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 equal-sized groups. Patients in the active group received 4 injections of dextrose solution (2 mL of 10% dextrose and 1 mL of 2% mepivacaine) for each TMJ, each 6 weeks apart, whereas patients in the placebo group received injections of placebo solution (2 mL of saline solution and 1 mL of 2% mepivacaine) on the same schedule. A verbal scale expressing TMJ pain on palpation, maximal mouth opening (MMO), clicking sound, and frequency of luxations (number of locking episodes per month) were assessed at each injection appointment just before the injection procedure and 3 months after the last injection. The collected data were then statistically analyzed.

RESULTS: By the end of the study, each group showed significant improvement in TMJ pain on palpation and number of locking episodes and insignificant improvement in clicking sound. With the exception of the MMO, there were no statistically significant differences throughout the study intervals between the active and placebo groups. The active group showed a significant reduction in MMO at the 12th week postoperatively. Differences compared with mean baseline value remained significant at the end of the follow-up period. On the other hand, the placebo group showed an insignificant difference in MMO throughout the study periods. For the last 2 intervals, the placebo group showed statistically significantly higher mean MMO values than the active group. By the end of the 12th postoperative week, the percentages of decrease in MMO were significantly greater in the active group.

CONCLUSION: Prolotherapy with 10% dextrose appears promising for the treatment of symptomatic TMJ hypermobility, as evidenced by the therapeutic benefits, simplicity, safety, patients' acceptance of the injection technique, and lack of significant side effects. However, continued research into prolotherapy's effectiveness in patient populations with large sample sizes and long-term follow-up is needed.

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