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Tmj Injury - 13 Years Old

Hello everyone! My name is morgan and I live in buffalo, ny. Thirteen years ago, I slipped and fell on a wet floor at a downtown mall and displaced both discs out of my jaw. I did not know why I was continuing with this awful pain, clicking and popping on the right side. Fortunately, we have a great tmj specialist in our town and I saw him about 2 weeks ago. He said I have gotten progressively worse in the past 3 years and referred me to an oral surgeon for a consult. I had that appointment today and he said my disc is "no good." he has scheduled me for the arthrocentesis on jan. 12, 2007 (so I can enjoy the holidays). I am extremely nervous and I do not think the odds are in my favor. If this procedure fails, I have to have a disectomy.

Anyone have any thoughts??? I would love to hear from you!

Thank you,

morgan :d
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replied December 9th, 2006
Experienced User
Hi morgan,
i am very much against any tmj surgery, even the arthrocentesis. They don't really seem to do any good (and seem to cause more irreversible damage). I am not a specialist or anything of the sort; just a long time tmj sufferer who has seen a lot of specialists and studied anything I could find about tmj for many years. So, this is just my opinion (my tmj is currently doing very well).

First - many, many people have displaced and damaged tmj discs and not all of them have any symptoms of tmj. As we get older, the discs usually deteriorate also because the jaw joints are the most used joints in the body.

But because you were in an unfortunate accident, your discs were forcefully displaced. What kinds of treatment have you been doing since the accident 13 years ago? Have you been wearing a bite splint? Physical therapy? Etc.?

Both of my discs are displaced and deteriorated. Both joints are damaged with clicking, but my tmj is not painful except for an occasional flare-up when I get stressed. I have not had any type of surgery and I thank god for that. Yes, I have to wear a bite splint (which needs adjusting or changing occasionally), I go to massage therapy semi-regularly, take prozac to keep my body relaxed (increase seratonin levels), watch my posture especially when in front of the computer, and watch my stress level very carefully.

You are right in that the odds don't seem to be in your favor. I have only heard of one or two people where arthrocentesis did any good and know of no one who was helped by a disectomy. This is from the 5 or 6 tmj support sites that I have visited over the past few years.

I know you say that the tmj specialist you saw is "great," but don't hesitate to see another dentist or two or three for more opinions. You are worth it.

God bless...
Carol
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replied December 9th, 2006
Hi carol: thank you so much for your response. I have had physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, soft diet, bite plates, etc. I am locked everyday and have to force my jaw open with a spoon! (ouch!) I have had several "second" opinions and this procedure (so I am told) may or may not be any help. I have horrific headaches that last up to 4 days, I am a full time law student and a full time paralegal with not much time for pain. Lol Smile

my procedure is scheduled for january 12, 2007 so I have time to back out. Thank you for taking the time to write back and I am glad to hear you are doing well!

Morgan Smile
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replied March 7th, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
So?
how are you guys doing? arthro is really nothing to be scared of. let us know how you are.
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replied March 18th, 2007
To Tanningirl,
I just read this and I know it's old, so I'm wondering if you went through with your surgery? I can tell you from experience, that to leave a disc displaced is not a good thing - it causes derangement of both the disc and the joint. Also, it is not a good idea to have a disc removed and have nothing put in it's place - found that out the hard way - after my first surgery where they sewed one miniscus in place and removed the other leaving the joint bare - bone on bone is not a good recipe! So, six years later I was on the table again having tissue from my temporal lobe inplanted and my joints were a mess. I cannot have MRI's because I have metal fragments in both joints from the first surgery, which no-one can seem to explain. Anyways, ten years after the second surgery, they are now telling me I need total joint replacement. I will wait on this as long as I can. I'm hoping I can stabalize the joint and prevent it from further deteriorating - hoping for a miracle. It does seem once you have the joint altered you're never right again, but you're not right anyways if you're in so much pain and your mouth gets stuck. Everyone is different and they're tolerance for pain as well as their situation is unique. We all have to go with what our gut tells us is best and hope for the best outcome. I hope you are doing better.
Lisa
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replied April 5th, 2010
I would also would have liked to know the original posters outcome and what she decided but I see the people who get better or those who sign up sometimes never comeback here so I hope everything is well
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