I feel totally lost. I just saw my tmj surgeon in boston on monday and he informed me that I needed both my joints replaced with artificial ones - this was not what I was expecting to hear. I had my first surgery about 20 years ago - the doctor removed the miniscus on one side and on the other - sewed it in place. About 10 years ago I had my second surgery - I had temporal lobe tissue implanted as discs. This surgery has since failed - I believe, due to the 3 auto accidents i've been in the past 6 years. The doctor will not redo that surgery, noting that it failed, but I can't help wonder if the accidents caused the failure and that maybe a 2nd attempt should be given consideration. I'm in the process of seeking 2nd opinion and am sick to my stomach. I have two small children and I just feel like the future is so bleak. Any thoughts out there?
i so understand where you are at and feel for you. I have felt the same way too many times over the 27 years of this tmj nightmare and mostly because of doctors/dentists who have all had different opinions. I do believe you should go for 2nd and 3rd opinions, though, but not all should be surgeons. Seek opinions from different kinds of tmj specialists - regular dentists, orthodontists, oral surgeons and from teaching colleges.
Probably the one thing that kept me together a couple of years ago is the internet. I wished I had checked it out earlier, and, that it had been around 27 years ago. I highly recommend doing all the research you possibly can. You will find lots of interesting and differing information. I do believe the smarter you are, the easier it will be for you to know what to do.
What are you doing to manage your tmj at this time? What have you done other than surgery to help you? I must admit to being very much against surgery as it is irreversible and seems to do more damage than good. I did check into arthrocentesis a couple of years ago and that's when I began my internet quest. In visiting tmj support sites, I just couldn't find anyone who had been helped and there were many, too many, who had been harmed by surgery. You have already had surgery so it makes it harder for me to know what to recommend.
Research and visit support sites. Do not make any decision while you are emotional. Anything you do decide should be rational and make sense. Please take care and let me know how you are doing or if there is anything else I can help you with.
I know how you feel I have had 4 failed surgeries, and will be having my 5th and 6th in the next few months. I had a failed rib graft and failed titanium implants, I am now having the lorenz implants, first one within the next few weeks and all being well the right hand side soon after. I feel depressed a lot of the time but my daughters and my husband keep me smiling :d I feel I have no option now but to have these operations, as I am in despair most of the time. Good luck with whatever you decide.
i cant add anything else that carol and sam have not already said. Do not rush into anything that you are not happy with, a second opinion is always good, you have to do what you feel is right for you. I to have had a number of surgerys and the last one was a total replacement which failed and caused me a lot of trouble, so don't rush into anything. I am having another replacement in the near future but that is because it is best for me, I am in so much pain and am unable to work so this is my only way forward.
My daughter was only one when I had my first surgery and she is now 13 and its amazing how small children adapt, it becomes a norm to them, so dont worry about the effects that this will have on them.
How are you managing at the moment do you have much pain?
I have been doing alot of research and am quite certain I will not have the replacements at this time. I've scheduled an appt. with my orthodontist who specializes in TMJ - I've been seeing him since I was 19, so we are growing old together - he just can't get rid of me! I want to get his take on the situation. I've also started taking glucosamine sulfate which, from what I've read, is supposed to stop further deterioration. I had tried a glucosamine/chondroitin combo a few years ago but it killed my stomach, and having suffered from ulcers in the past, I stopped taking it. So, far, this is not bothering my stomach. I've also switched to a soft diet and have really altered my lifestyle - I try to chew without opening my mouth too much and I don't bite into anything or have anything chewy, crunchy, etc...From what I've read, after surgery you should never go back to normal eating, however, my surgeon told me I could and that the last surgery should last me a life-time - what a crock. I'm sure the three auto accidents didn't help either. In the meantime, I've decided to make the most of each day. I had my little pity party - but things really could be much worse - I'm quite certain a person dying from cancer would change places with me in an instant! So, I am grateful everyday that I wake up and my name isn't in the obituaries! I've also stopped yelling as that bothers my jaw and I've taken to blowing a whistle to get my kids attention when they're acting like animals and ignoring me.
Now I will be deaf also. Oh well, gotta laugh - when life tosses you lemons or limes - make a margarita and smile. Talk to you all soon and will let you know what I find out as I go along. Best wishes with any treatments you have going on. I pray for all of us.
Lisa, your attitude could end up being the best treatment for your TMJ. I know it's a bummer that we have to change our lifestyle for such a disorder. I have had to do so and it has made a world of difference. Working at changing my posture, especially the shoulders, is helping. Not yelling at the brothers is probably good. Can you get some good ear plugs? (And stay away from cars!)
Keep up the research. It does help. You might want to consider physical or massage therapy to relax and retrain those muscles. If you ever want to talk TMJ or anything else, we'll be here.
(and I got back my name Catswold)
Well, today was interesting. I went to my orthodontist, who I've been growing old with, and he didn't have much to say except "I wouldn't let them do that (total joint replacement) unless I was totally unable to function and in unbearable pain." Then I spoke to my surgeon and asked how long I could wait without making it impossible to "fix" and he said I can wait as long as I can stand it - so, hellooooooooooooooo mushy foods for life! I've changed my eating and have put on some weight because of it - nice excuse - it still hurts everyday, but not enough to make me go under the scapel - yet. I'm praying for a miracle. I've started taking glucosamine sulfate and I'm hoping I can just stop this in it's tracks for a while. Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?! - my TMJ mantra. My physical therapist can't really go crazy with the TMJ issue until he gets my back and neck in order - you know how it goes - the jaw bone's connected to the neck bone, the neck bone's connected to the back bone, the back bone's connected...well you all get the picture. I don't know if this will be helpful to anyone, but in my research, I found a night guard called NTI - I cannot use it because of my surgeries, but, it may be helpful to someone out there who hasn't had surgery yet - google it! My dentist swears by it, but I am not a candidate. So, I spent $165 on a hypnotist yesterday to make me stop clenching in my sleep - guess how I woke up...CLENCHING...UGH! Soooooooooo, I called the little dubey and told him it didn't work. He's having me come in again next week, but I think he is over his head on this one and should stick to weight loss and smoking cessation. I also spoke with a pshychotherapist who has a doctorate in hypnotherapy - I've been a very busy girl today - and she feels that she could help me - however, insurance will not pay for it - of course. I am probably going to hook up with her - she talked to me for about an hour on the phone - free - very unusual for that profession - seems to be very caring. So, my advice to everyone is BE GOOD TO YOURSELVES! I felt a little guilty about the $$$ but I'm worth it and I've made things worse by not doing these things a long time ago. So, if you can do alternative therapies go for it. So, let's pray for each other - I do every night for all suffering with this and worse and then I get grateful for all that I have and each day I get up and see my little ones smile. They don't understand all mommie's boo-boos, but someday they will, and I hope they will understand that I did my best under the worst circumstances. Well, I definitely have diarhea of the mouth tonight! Good night to all! Keep on posting! God Bless.
You have been busy. Good for you! I wanted to recommend that you include with the Glucosamine/Chrondroitin lots of Vitamin B12 Super Complex 100 or 50 and Magnesium. The magnesium is supposed to be particularly useful in combating clenching and/or grinding. I think I read once where you should take some calcium with the magnesium and someone wrote on here that you can take up to 1200 mg a day of the magnesium. Oh, if you're not on an anti-depressant, you might consider taking St. John's Wort before bedtime. I can't take it because I'm already on an anti-d. I hope this is helpful information.
Let us know how the hypnotherapy works. That's an interesting subject. And I'm so impressed with your attitude as I said before. That really is the best medicine.
Take care and God bless...
P.S. How did you get the capital letters in your posting? Thanks.
Thanks for the support. I am only taking the glucosamine sulfate right now, because I read that it is superior to the "HCL" (I believe that's the other form). I also take it alone, because I was told by someone very knowledgeable in the supplement/natural health business, that they should be taken separately because taking the glucosamine with the chrondritin inhibits absorption. I also find that alone, the glucosamine does not upset my stomach...yet. I do take a calcium/magnesium supplement - you need magnesium to absorb the calcium. It also contains vitamin D which you need for the calcium absorption also. I alternate that with a regular multi-vitamin and I take fish oil several times a week - it's supposed to help keep the joints lubricated. I'm doing more research on the whole joint issue - some interesting stuff - will update you when I've completed my research. Pretty soon, I will be ready for my degree in this stuff! As far as the capital letters - I'm not getting what you mean there. I just type. I hope all is well with you.
We got hammered with snow this Fri. here in RI. I thought spring had sprung - my flowers were starting to sprout - mother nature can play some terrible jokes on us!
Take Care and God Bless.