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Mri Results - What Can I Expect?

Sorry for asking so many questions but I would appreciate input on one more. MRI says I don't havae either articular disc and this was caused from trauma. I guess when my jaw locked - one side and then the other--this was the trauma? Anyway, the doctor said that I had degenerativearthritis caused by the trauma and now there is nothing that can be done. Is this pretty much right, do you think? Thank you .
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replied October 7th, 2007
Supporter
Becky,
There are never too many questions you can ask about TMJ. I'm personally not impressed with your doctor's advice to you and that's why I'm going to suggest that you see another (or even more) TMJ "Specialists" for their opinion(s). I've had so many different opinions over the past 28 years that it could make your head spin. I also highly recommend that you do as much research as you can on your own with the Internet, asking questions at TMJ support sites (like here) and there are a few good books out on the market. Go to Amazon.com and type in TMJ and see what you get.

You asked me in another post about DJD. I'm slow at answering for a variety of reasons but mainly, I looked some stuff up and then I'm just slow at typing right now. Poor excuse, I know. Sorry.

Anyway, DJD (degenerative joint disease) is just another way of saying I have arthritis. There are different forms of arthritis. Did the doc tell you what kind of arthritis? The most common form is osteoarthritis (OA) or DJD and it usually occurs following “trauma” to a joint, then infection/inflammation, or, simple wear and tear, the dreaded aging process, or even genetics. There is also an idea that abnormal anatomy may contribute to early development OA/DJD. The “trauma” can be as stupid as a dentist keeping your mouth open too long and too wide, or as silly as yawning too big or chewing gum non-stop.

When the meniscus or disc (made up of a “super” type of cartilage) is displaced, damaged or destroyed, we have the nightmare of TMJ. The disc is necessary for cushioning between bones and provides stable movement of the jaw. If the smooth cartilage (disc) between the bones becomes rough from wear and tear, is stretched too thinly or is displaced, it causes friction to occur, which can lead to joint pain. The condyle (bone) can also be worn down or bone spurs can form.

This is a very simple, basic “lesson” on arthritis/DJD/OA. Rheumatoid arthritis is a whole other disease just about that I know almost nothing about, so I wouldn’t be able to advise anything except to see a rheumatologist, but I would be surprised if it is RA.

Now, I do disagree that "nothing" can be done and that is why you should see other specialists. You might not ever be "cured" but there is such a thing as managing or taking care of a physical problem when we develop one. For example, take diabetes. It's not curable, but you also don't do "nothing" about it. I sometimes get angry at TMJ docs who think that because they can't permanently "fix" the problem, they can just throw their hands up in the air and say they can't do anything. Meanwhile, we patients are suffering. You might have to learn how to best treat your various symptoms yourself with hopefully the help of others, such as your primary doctor, and/or a pain management doctor, and/or physical therapist, and/or bite splint maker, etc.

You also might NOT have arthritis. That’s why you need to see other TMJ specialists. Seek out Functional Joint Orthotic dentists and Neuromuscular dentists or just a simple dentist who makes very good bite splints and is usually quite knowledgeable. You do need to try and get your family physician on board to help with referral to PT or write prescriptions for various medications like narcotics, muscle relaxants, anti-d's, etc. There is a wide range of "treatments" that can help manage TMJ.

But first please get another opinion. I hope you find the help you need. And sorry for the length and lateness.

God bless...
Carol
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replied April 4th, 2011
what do you think of botox for tmj? also can chronic tmj lead to neuralgia/migraine like symptoms. I get burning pain in my head and facial pain. jaw aches. I had a bad concussion and whiplash. My neck clicks and gets stiff and sometimes sounds like there is glass in there although MRI normal for jaw and neck. I have had extensive MRIs!
onearth
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replied October 7th, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
remember that an mri is only 20% accurate.

did you have any accidents? i dont think that simply locking would do that much damage.
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replied April 4th, 2011
hi
i am wondering if tmj can contribute to migraines and/or burning pain and neuralgia.
do you think botox can help? I am in Los Angeles and am thinking of trying it. I had a bad concussion and bad neck whiplash and some docs say i have neuralgia w tmj and others say a daily migraine but i dont have all symptoms of a migraine.
onearth
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replied October 8th, 2007
Thank You Both
I want to thank you both for your replies. I have made (after breaking) an appointment with another tmj oral surgeon. I also made another appointment with the one who said nothing canbe done. He should have told me a lot of things after the MRI--he didn't.

The MRI said the arthritis was caused by trauma--

I cannot believe this "TMJ world". I am just now finding out things that many of you have been going through for years. It all started when my regular dentist said I was stressed out over the death of my horse and that things would be ok after a period of time--what hogwash. I told him how scared I was but he wanted to save me the expense of an MRI--oh, well, I am sure if you have dealt with this for a long time, you have heard it all.

I fully intend to follow your advice. I am certainly not going to listen to someone who says "nothing can be done" and gives me absolutely no direction.

I have read every post on these forums and appreciate so much your replies.
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replied October 8th, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
oh i say bull honkey to the doctor that said nothing can be done. that is a lot of well you said it HOGWASH! Oh gee im having a bad day and now im really ticked off. Smile pm me I think i can help.

Im glad that you find this place helpful. thats what we are here for to help --just pm or email me at anytime.
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replied October 11th, 2007
Re: Thank You Both
Becky50 wrote:


I cannot believe this "TMJ world". I am just now finding out things that many of you have been going through for years.


I agree with you there.

It was like... here I am going through life with no problems and then suddenly... WHACKKKKKK!

I feel awful, but greatful that I am new to this because so many people have been suffering for years... It has only been about a month for me.


As for MRI results, I got mine today:

Anterior dislocation of the disc without reduction on the right side and anterior subluxation of the disc with reduction on the left side.

Don't really know what that all means, except that "she can't open her mouth the way she should"!

I get my splint next Thursday.

Good luck to you!
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