Arthroscopic management of temporomandibular joint disc perforations and associated advanced chondromalacia by discoplasty and abrasion arthroplasty: a supplemental report

J H Quinn, J D Stover
Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 1998, 56 (11): 1237-9; discussion 1239-40

PURPOSE: This article describes the results of treating temporomandibular joint (TMJ) articular disc perforation and advanced chondromalacia arthroscopically by the use of discoplasty and abrasion arthroplasty.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Forty-four joints were treated in 25 patients (23 females and 2 males). Twenty-nine disc perforations were present, 24 joints had grade III chondromalacia (fibrillated cartilage), and 14 joints had grade IV chondromalacia (exposed bone). Surgical procedures included 14 abrasion arthroplasties and 24 motorized shavings or holmium laser vaporizations. Holmium laser discoplasty with mobilization was used in 29 joints. Patients were followed-up for an average of 40.8 months (11 to 74 months).

RESULTS: Preoperative pain on the visual analog scale (VAS) (1 to 10 cm) ranged from 5 to 10 cm, with an average of 7.4 cm. Postoperatively, nine patients had no pain and 16 patients had an average VAS of 2.7 cm (range, 1 to 5 cm). Preoperatively, 30 joints had clicking, and 14 joints had crepitation. Postoperatively, 25 joints had no noise, 12 joints had slight intermittent clicking, and seven joints had crepitation. The preoperative range of motion averaged 29.7 mm. Postoperatively, the range of motion averaged 37.7 mm (range, 33 to 42 mm). All patients could masticate a regular diet except hard food after an average of 40.8 months (11 to 74 months).

CONCLUSIONS: These findings seem to justify the arthroscopic surgical procedures of discoplasty for disc perforations, motorized shaving, or holmium laser vaporization of grade III chondromalacia, and abrasion arthroplasty for bone exposure. The results also question the need for discectomy in the treatment of disc perforation.

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