[quote style=”boxed”]Today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ordered three manufacturers of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) implants to conduct postmarket surveillance studies to determine the length of time before the implants are removed or replaced due to pain or other reasons.[/quote] More in depth analysis coming soon. In the meantime, the press release is below…..Read More »Breaking: FDA Orders Review of TMJ Implants
I thought it was time that I formally introduce myself. I’m sure that you’ve all wondered… who is TMJ Hope? What follows is part of the story of how TMJ Hope came into existence. I hope over the next few months, together we can turn TMJ Hope into what so many of us have always dreamed of, looked for, and been unable to find…a place you can count on for support, information, and understanding. While there may not be concrete answers and treatments for TMJ disorder yet, there is always hope. My experience with TMJ disorder began years ago at the age of 12, when I was attacked by a neighbors dog. This resulted in hundreds of stitches in my face and neck. At the time, the damage to my jaw was not apparent and certainly not investigated. The only symptom I had were drop to the ground headaches. The doctors believed they were caused by PTSD (which certainly would have been understandable, but we felt they were from something different). Five years later, the symptoms started to change into more migraine type headaches and jaw pain. I did rounds with my primary care physician, neurologists, orthodontists, oral surgeons, “facial pain specialists”, physical therapists — you get the picture. Next up was splint therapy — I had an anterior repositioning splint, NTI, soft splint, hard, bottom, top, Mora, Gelb, etc, etc. Other treatments I tried included physical therapy, trigger point injections in the face and mouth, prolotherapy, occlusal adjustment, massage, medications, TENS units, and more splints. New doctor meant a new splint. Any relief of symptoms was unfortunately, temporary. During all this my symptoms not only escalated, but they changed. I was now having daily migraines, and on a no chew diet. The pain severely impacted my day-to-day life. An MRI showed interior disc displacement on the left side. The doctor agreed that left TMJ arthrocentesis was necessary. Afterwards, I felt worse and my jaw locked again. I was then fired as a patient because as an oral surgeon he “did not treat pain.” My next surgeon reread the MRI and found that I actually had bilateral disc displacement without reduction on both sides. The next surgery was a bilateral disc suturing (an open joint arthroplasty). I had a great surgeon and fantastic support from my family, but I had no idea what I was in for. As a computer geek I did my best to research what was out there, but I wasn’t happy with what I could find. Where was the support? I wanted someone to talk to before & throughout the surgery, but it just wasn’t out there. I heard from many other patients, who were looking for the same. They urged me to create something. Read More »Who is TMJ Hope?
TMJ surgery can be a nerve wracking process if you are not prepared…but if you take some time to anticipate what you might need, and learn from patients who have been through it before you, we think you will feel empowered and less nervous. I have talked with many TMJ disorder patients over the years, and they have shared their tips for surgery with me. After a while, I noticed most of the advice was very similar… it didn’t matter if the patient was having a TMJ arthroplasty, arthrocentesis, or any other type of TMJ surgery. Most patients felt MUCH better and less nervous if they took the time before jaw surgery to prepare, become knowledgeable about their condition and particular procedure, go over the options, and talk with and get support from fellow patients who had been through the same thing before them. I don’t think this is unique for TMJ, it applies to any kind of surgery! Here are some specific tips to help you prepare for surgery:
Test out different types of meal replacement shakes (Ensure, Boost), or protein powders *before surgery so that you know which ones you like the most.
Purchase supportive pillowsto keep yourself comfortable in bed. Everyone is different, but the most mentioned pillows are back wedges, neck supports, and regular pillows to put on either side of you to support your arms while you need to be laying upright.
Set up your bed area and nightstands or couch so that you do not need to bend over, get up, or move around to find things when you are recovering.
Get your prescriptions filled before the surgery.
Depending on what your doctor recommends, a child sized toothbrush or water-pik could be useful if you cannot open your mouth very wide.
Stock up on your favorite frozen veggies to make moldable ice packs (we like frozen peas or corn).
Buy pajamas that do not have to be put on over your head.
The second article in our TMJ surgery series, arthroscopy, is now live and ready for you to read! Please let us know if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions. The next in the series is TMJ arthroplasty, which is open joint surgery (includes joint… Read More »TMJ Arthroscopy Basic Overview
We have receivedre many requests to provide TMJ surgery information, so we have started this series with an article on TMJ arthrocentesis. We hope this helps you, and please let us know below in the comment area if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions.… Read More »TMJ Arthrocentesis Article Live