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Surgical treatment of synovial chondromatosis of the temporomandibular joint with erosion of the skull base: a case report and review of the literature

M Pau, A Bicsák, K E Reinbacher, M Feichtinger, H Kärcher
International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 2014, 43 (5): 600-5
Synovial chondromatosis (SC) is a rare metaplastic disease of the larger joints. It is rarely observed in smaller joints, especially in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This disease is considered to be metaplastic and shows no malignant tendencies, but can become locally aggressive, erode the cranial base, and even spread intracranially. To date, nine cases of spread into the intracranial space have been reported in the literature; however, the disease remained extradural in all cases. The authors present a review of the literature and report the case of a 70-year-old man with SC of the right TMJ that had eroded the cranial base, reaching the dura mater; a large intracranial mass was not present. The disease was considered to be stage 3 according to Milgram's classification. The patient was treated surgically, the tumour mass was removed, reconstruction of the cranial base was performed using titanium mesh, and the joint was reconstructed with a temporal muscle interposition flap. Diagnostic images and intraoperative photographs are also presented.

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