Arthrocentesis—a highly efficient therapy for acute TMJ arthropathy M. Wiesend, S. Kanehl, E. Esser
Mund Kiefer GesichtsChir 2006: 10: 341–346
The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficiency of arthrocentesis for treatment of acute arthropathy of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). A total of 142 patients (mean 41.5 year of age) were included in this study. Inclusion criteriea were a restricted mouth opening (<40 mm) and/or TMJ pain (>3) on a visual analogue scale (VAS). The first examination took place the day before surgery; follow-up examinations were performed 1 day and 4 weeks after arthrocentesis. Study parameters were active mouth opening, TMJ pain on palpation, myalgia of the temporalis or masseter muscles jaw deviation, clicking or crepitation during mouth opening. Arthrocentesis was performed in all patients under general anesthesia by a double puncture and continuous rinsing technique as recommended by Murakami. The upper TMJ space was rinsed with 250 ml of physiological sterile saline solution at a pressure of 200 mmHg. Arthrocentesis resulted in a highly significant increase of mouth opening and a highly significant reduction in TMJ pain on palpation (p < 0.001). The results of this study showed that TMJ arthrocentesis was a highly efficient therapy for acute TMJ arthropathy. The authors concluded that further long-term studies were necessary to evaluate the long-term effects.