Hello all - another tmj support website - that's great! I think these boards are so helpful to us tmjd patients, who are often lost in a sea of confusion.
I like the fact that the supporters have two different view points many times, from what I read. You always need to see the different sides of things, and then make up your own mind.
Just wondering if there are any comments for me - my case is kind of unusual, as I didn't have the usual popping & clicking for years like many, or muscle problems or headaches. Just woke up one morning, out of the blue, in my mid fifties, and could only open about an inch. (I believe the cause was a bad bite for many years, and then having gum surgery that had my mouth overly stretched for too long, just before the problem started.) My MRI shows left anteriorly displaced disc, non reducing - right disc normal) Not much pain (except after some attempted treatments), just a lot of stress and sleepless nights, trying to figure out what, if anything to do.
Many advised - do nothing - my opening gradually increased to 35mm over a year, and there was still little/no pain. Another opinion, was to get a soft tissue arthroplasty on the affected joint quickly, as the longer I left it, the more I would accrue degenerative osteoarthritis in the joint.
Now, at the one and a half year mark, something new. Some cracking in the jaw joint when I move my head/neck jaw around, and some grating when I chew. Also some pain in the joint/temple area on a forward jaw movement. Also, some pain when opening to my 35mm. I'm beginning to believe the degenerative oa prediction. Several articles I found mention that closed lock and oa co-exist.
When I read the cases of those with total joint replacements, they all start off with locking, clicking, grating. So I am starting to assume that is where I am headed. Many of them progressed over a period of many years, but the rapid progressions seems to happen once the lock sets in. So it seems I've jumped into the deep end.
From what I read, many arthroplasties last only about 6 months, then have to be redone. Does anyone know any different? And many people get arthrocentesis, then arthroplasty, then disectomy, then finally joint replacements. Maybe it would be better to wait for the joint replacements. But in the meantime, the bones get worn away, every time the joint cracks (probably hundreds of times a day).
My goal would be to get some type of splint that will allow me to do the least possible cracking and grating, thus preserving what's left of my bones forever (and at my age, that's only another 20 - 30 years if I'm lucky). But I don't know if that is even possible.
Long post, I know, but I'm hoping there will be some comments.
Im assuming you had an MRI---Its really weird but my MRI said the same thing yours did.------keep in mind that MRI s are only roughly about 20% accurate. We opened my joint and the disc was fine. Some people only have one surgery. Others have to have many---however that depends on the doctor that you have. Surgery is the LAST RESORT. There is a doc that can help you and Id bet my bottom dollar you wouldnt have to have surgery or go through all the treatments that I Did. If you are interested let me know. You could be through with it rather quickly depending on your case.
All the things that you said were so eerily familiar to my symptoms and things that I have gone through. just remember that what works for one wont always work for another. However the method that I am speaking of has a 99% success rate( I put a wrench in their 100% success rate-- Im so ashamed ) Anyhow if you need help or anything Im right here and feel free to contact me at anytime.
Thank you for your helpful response, Dianne. Yes, I'd like to know about the successful procedure that you are describing, and the name of the doc. I sent you an email, in case you are not allowed to post that info here on the website.