What types of treatment are there for temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain?
The temporomandibular joint is the only mobile joint that we have in the face, it is located just in front of the auricle in the upper part of the jaw and it is the joint that with its movement allows us to play the jaw, the opening movement- closure and the rest of movements of this bone. We in our practice see many patients who come with pain and other joint symptoms. Each patient is a different world, we can not leave in the same category all these patients who have these symptoms of noise, pain or joint blockage. Consequently, there is not a single treatment to treat articulation problems. There is a staggering of procedures that we will apply differently according to the precise diagnosis of each patient and the stage of their disease. From simple non-invasive techniques such as a discharge splint or physiotherapy treatments, through minimally invasive surgery techniques such as arthrocentesis or the use of growth factors or arthroscopy, to techniques of open joint surgery, including joint replacement techniques .
Can you do minimally invasive techniques for temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain?
In some patients we combine two minimally invasive surgery techniques. One of them is the arthrocentesis, a well known technique that what is intended is a wash of the joint cavity, with a Ringer solution what we do is wash the temporomandibular joint eliminating the possible catabolites that appear there and also getting the elimination of flanges, of adhesions that appear in the joint. This technique is combined with the use of growth factors also known as plasma rich in growth factors.
What is treatment with growth factors for temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain?
The plasma rich in growth factors is a totally autologous product, that is, it is a natural product in which we do not use any foreign material to the patient. It has a very simple collection technique, we extract a couple of tubes of blood to the patient to which a very specific centrifugation technique is applied.. With this technique we obtain tubes in which we obtain differentiated blood fractions. One of these fractions of blood contains a high number of platelets and these platelets in turn, will release for a certain time what we know as growth factors. These growth factors allow a faster healing of the tissues and a better healing of wounds and scars.
Is the use of anesthesia necessary to perform the treatment?
When we combine arthrocentesis treatment with infiltration with growth factors, we usually do it with local anesthesia and soft intravenous sedation. In any case, the procedure is an outpatient procedure and the advantage of doing so with sedation is that it improves patient comfort and perception of the procedure. In any case, if a patient wishes to do it with local anesthesia there is no technical problem to do it with pure local anesthesia.
What is the efficacy of the application of growth factors for temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain?
Growth factors are already being used, for some time, in other joints of the body and are being used especially in many elite athletes. They have already proven their usefulness in muscle injuries, in tendinous injuries and in cartilage lesions, accelerating healing and improving the rehabilitation of this type of patients.