The aim of this study was to compare the perioperative evolution of two different arthrocentesis techniques, one performed by direct palpation of the anatomical structures and the other by preestablished measurements. It was verified which of the techniques is the more accurate in respect of the serum flow established and the undesired accumulation of fluid through the tissue planes. Twenty-two patients with ages ranging from 23 to 52 years were analyzed. They were clinically diagnosed as having unilateral intra-articular temporomandibular joint pathology (TMJ pathology). The patients were randomly divided into two groups, each of them being submitted to a different arthrocentesis technique. The subjects were analyzed perioperatively and at 14 days after surgery, mouth opening and relief of pain being verified. The direct palpation technique achieved the best results, with a better serum flow ( p = 0.0002) and smaller accumulation of fluid through the tissue planes ( p = 0.2). There was no significant difference between the techniques relating to mouth opening or relief of pain. Arthrocentesis proved to be effective in the treatment of TMJ disorders, regardless of the technique used. The direct palpation technique proved to be superior, showing a greater efficiency and ease of execution.
Conflict of interest: None declared.