A comparative study on the impact of intra-articular injections of hyaluronic acid, tenoxicam and betametazon on the relief of temporomandibular joint disorder complaints

Zeliha Kapusuz Gencer, Mahmut Özkiriş, Aylin Okur, Murat Korkmaz, Levent Saydam
Journal of Cranio-maxillo-facial Surgery 2014, 42 (7): 1117-21

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of intra-articular injections of three different agents with well known anti-inflammatory properties.

MATERIALS AND METHOD: Between April 2010 and January 2013 a total of 100 patients who were diagnosed as temporomandibular joint disorder in the Department of Otolaryngology at Bozok University School of Medicine were prospectively studied. Patients with symptoms of jaw pain, limited or painful jaw movement, clicking or grating within the joint, were evaluated with temporomandibular CT to investigate the presence of cartilage or capsule degeneration. In the study group there were 55 female and 45 male patients who were non-responders to conventional anti-inflammatory treatment for TMJ complaints. The patients were randomly divided into four groups consisting of a control group and three different groups who underwent intra-articular injection of one given anti-inflammatory agent for each group. We injected saline solution to intra-articular space in the control group. Of three anti-inflammatory agents including hyaluronic acid (HA, Hyalgan intra-articular injection, Sodium hyaluronate 10 mg/ml, 2 ml injection syringe, Bilim Pharmaceutical Company, Istanbul, Turkey); betamethasone (CS, Diprospan flacon, 7.0 mg betamethasone/1 ml, Schering-Plough Pharmaceutical Company, Istanbul, Turkey) and; tenoxicam (TX, Tilcotil flacon, 20 mg tenoxicam/ml, Roche Pharmaceutical Company, Istanbul, Turkey) were administered intra-articularly under, ultrasonographic guidance. Following the completion of injections the, changes in subjective symptoms were compared with visual analogue scales, (VAS) scores at 1st and 6th weeks' follow-up visits between four groups.

RESULTS: The HA group did significantly better pain relief scores compared to the, other groups at 1st and 6th weeks (p < 0.05). TX and CS groups' pain scores were better than control group values (p < 0.05, for both agents). The pain relief effect of TX was noted to decrease significantly between the 1st and 6th week (p < 0.05) (Fig. 1). We did not observe the same pattern in HA, CS and control (saline) groups between 1st and 6th week (p > 0.05).

CONCLUSION: We found that HA produced better pain relief scores when compared to the other anti-inflammatory agents studied. The main disadvantage of HA is its relatively higher cost. Additionally it does not have a reimbursement status by state or private health insurance systems in Turkey. Despite the lower VAS scores, intra-articular TX and CS may be assessed as more economic alternatives to intra-articular HA injections.

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