The temporomandibular joint: how to treat dysfunction syndrome (TMJ)?

What is the TMJ?

The TMJ is the temporomandibular joint, one of the most mobile and most functional joints in the human body and we use it every day for chewing, speaking, gesturing and everything that has to do with the mobility of the jaw. Basically, it is a joint that has three fundamental parts: on the one hand, the articular surface of the temporal fossa, the articular surface of the condyle and, between these two, an articular disc, all of which is surrounded by a synovium and an articular capsule.

Why is the TMJ injured?

It can be injured, like any other joint. It can be due to:

  • Inflammations
  • Trauma
  • Tumors
  • General diseases, which have an impact on the TMJ.

What are the most common pathologies of the TMJ?

Undoubtedly the most common and most frequent is called “dysfunction syndrome or TMJ internal damage syndrome”. Its fundamental cause is a slight or severe anterior displacement of the articular disc, which leads to symptoms ranging from joint clicking to blockage or inability to open the mouth, sometimes with a lot of pain.

What does TMJ surgery consist of?

Open surgery of the TMJ is performed for very rare processes, such as ankylosis or tumors.

However, endoscopy or arthroscopy of the TMJ is the procedure we use most frequently in our center for TMJ dysfunction syndrome.

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Is it a conventional surgery?

It is fundamentally a surgery, where a great deal of experience is required. It is performed through a series of optics that have a diameter of 2 mm and a series of procedures with the help of a very specific and very sophisticated material. The lysis of the adhesions, the application of radiofrequency to perform myotomy and coagulation of the posterior ligament or the suture of the disc are performed.

We perform the surgery under general anesthesia, spending only one night in the clinic and then the patient returns home with a very simple treatment, where physiotherapy is also recommended.

*CCOM-MONJE is a center of national and international reference in the pathology of the temporomandibular joint and specifically the arthroscopy of this joint.