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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board
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Old 05-02-2005, 07:16 PM   #1
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Michelle W HB User
Talking Rubato

Did you ever have your disectomy? If so how are you doing with it? I have a displaced disc from arthroplasty I had in 2003. It only held six weeks. I had an MRI last week. One side is still holding at this point, but I don't think it will long-term.

Thanks,
Michelle

 
Old 05-03-2005, 09:31 AM   #2
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Re: Rubato

Hi Michelle. I had the surgery 3 months ago and am doing terrific! Opening of 44 mm and still improving. I am still having pain and still having nerve issues with my face, but am thrilled with the results so far. I only had it done on one side and just had the disc moved back into place on the other. I wish I'd had the discectomy on both. I'm already having trouble with the disc I still have. It's already moving again. Are you considering the surgery? If so, let me just say the recovery is hard. And, there are so many things that can go wrong. A lot of people have permanent nerve damage. And, I can already tell that I have bone on bone rubbing. But, I still think it's worth it.
Tandy

 
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Old 05-03-2005, 06:30 PM   #3
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Smile Re: Rubato

Hi Tandy,

I am considering all my options. I think I will eventually have to do something sooner or later. The major issue that is keeping me from doing anything is the thought of possible fusion. Right now, I am living on Neurontin, Keppra and the smallest does of pain medication. I don't like having to take medication all the time. I am constantly having to pop pills four times a day. I can handle once or twice a day, but I feel bad from all the side effects of the combination. Although, I much prefer the pills over the pain.

The OS offered to put the disc back in place, or perform a disectomy if the disc or ligament are torn. I know they are torn, because the pain is so much worse than before surgery. At this point I don't think I would have him put the disc back in place. I would just opt for a disectomy. If it didn't hold once I don't think it would hold a second time.

My insurance does not offer any tmj coverage, so I would not be able to afford a joint replacement if I had fusion. That is really holding me back from doing anything-the no insurance coverage issue. I had to pay for the bilateral arthroplasty out of my pocket. It was around 13,000.00 plus my braces were 5,000.00.

If I may ask you a couple of questions:

1. Did they tell you what percentage of people have a problem with fusion of the jaw?

2. What type of method did they use to put the disc back in place?

I had the Mitek Anchor Arthroplasty method in 2003. If you have any questions for me I would be glad to answer them. I appreciate any information you would care to offer me.

Thanks,
Michelle

 
Old 05-03-2005, 07:32 PM   #4
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Re: Rubato

Hi Michelle. I was not given a percentage for fusion. It really didn't even matter at the time. My doctor doesn't use any kind of artificial disc replacement and I was in too much pain to live the way I was. My discs were perforated and shredded. He said I should develop enough scar tissue to cushion the joint. But, like I said earlier, I can hear the bones rubbing against each other. I also have had arthritis for the last 19 years, and, because I left the disc in so long, I have condyle damage. I'm more concerned with needing to replace my condyle than fusion.
I don't know what the name of my first surgery was. It was in 1994, so I'm sure everything's changed now. Basically, they just went in and positioned the discs back in place. I had a very quick recovery time. This time, my left side healed just as quickly, because I had the same surgery. But, my right was open joint surgery. I had to spend the night in the hospital. Physical therapy for a month, a new splint, liquid diet for a few weeks and 6 months of no chewing. I was taking Baclofen for awhile and now am just taking Relafen and Elavil. I'm still in pain every day, but not like I was. If I don't get any better than I am today, I will be happy and feel the surgery was a success.
What exactly did your surgery involve? I can't imagine trying to get through this with an insurance company that doesn't pay. Mine won't pay for braces or splints, but they pay 90% for everything else. I hope someday these people realize what they're doing to us. This isn't a cheap disorder to treat. My insurance company didn't pay for my surgery in 94 because tmj fell between medical and dental. With my mris and everything, I paid about $12,000 for that one. But, they finally got smart. I started looking into having another surgery late last year, and thank goodness when I called they said they now covered it.
I think you're going the right way. If your discs are torn, why put them back? What did your doctor say about your discs from your last surgery? They should have been able to tell from that and your mri. And, I know what you mean about taking pills. I never took anything before. When I was on pain pills, muscle relaxers, anti inflammatories and the Elavil for sleeping and not grinding, I started to wonder how I was going to ever get out of this. Plus, the money for that is ridicuous. But, slowly but surely, they're going away. I'm down to pills 2 times a day, and am about to move to once a day.
I guess I've rambled enough. Let me know how you're doing.
Tandy

 
Old 05-04-2005, 05:51 PM   #5
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Cool Re: Rubato

Hey Rubato,

It is good to hear you are doing so well. I know it has taken you awhile to get there because it has taken three months. It sounds like you are making great progress to me. I bet you are so glad. I am happy for you.

I am glad you have insurance coverage for most of your condition. I wish I did.

My disc were in good condition when my arthroplasty was done. The surgeon did not tell me the condition of them based upon my last MRI. I just thought he could not tell. I did ask about scar tissue, and he told me they could not see it on a MRI.

I am suppose to get the radiologist report sent to my home. I will look at it and see what it tells me.

Please keep me posted on your progress. I will try to continue to check in. I haven't been around much lately. I have been surfing the net and working in my yard.

Best wishes,
Michelle

 
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