Introduction: The aim of this retrospective clinical study is to present the clinical experience of using autogenous auricular cartilage grafts following total discectomy of TMJ.
Materials and methods: Fifteen patients underwent discectomy and auricular grafting between 2006 and 2012. Sixteen total procedures were performed, which include 15 unilateral cases and 1 bilateral case. Pain (visual analog scale score) and maximal interincisal opening (MIO) were assessed preoperatively and at 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months after surgery. Magnetic resonance imaging of the TMJ was performed on all patients at 1 year after surgery.
Results: Fifeen patients underwent discectomy and cartilage interposition. Average follow-up was 14.8 months. All sixteen procedures were performed without any intraoperative complications. A significant decrease in pain ( P < 0.001) was observed for all patients at any time during the follow-up period from the first postoperative month to the end of the 1-year follow-up period. At 12 months, the average MIO change was 27,8 mm. MRI data confirmed the survival and accurate placement of the auricular cartilage. Only two patients required alloplastic reconstruction because by advanced dysfunction.
Conclusion: Discectomy and auricular cartilage grafting appears to be a successful surgical option for patients with advanced cases of TMJ dysfunction.