My surgeon suggested arthroscopy to have a look and to flush out "sticky bits" and said there's an 80% chance it will get rid of the pain. The MRI showed both R & L discs displaced, with R not reducing. I have very severe pain almost all the time, either on right or left. Can anyone tell me if they've had this done, what was it like and did it reduce the pain?
I'd be so grateful for any information and advice, as not sure if I should have it done or not.
First, I am sorry to hear that you are in so much pain.
But, will it help? Surgery is something that should be used as a last resort.
And, I hope you do some soul searching...we are all different.
I can only say this. In the past, I had three bilateral arthroscopies. And, none of them helped. But, again...understand, we are all different.
The surgery, itself, is not a bad one (But, I've had more intense TMJ surgeries since the arthroscopies). Basically, you are under general anesthesia. The surgeon makes two or more tiny pin hole type incisions in front of your ear (where your TMJ is locate). The are almost like microscopes. But, one also helps break up any adhesions and assists with placing the disc back on the condyle. The recovery isn't bad. But, it really depends if you have had any previous surgeries. My first arthroscopy was when I was 13. I didn't know what to expect. I was in the hospital overnight. I was tired and in pain. It really wasn't too bad (though the arthroscopies didn't work for me )
The only advice I could give is to research this surgery, for yourself, and make your own decision. I would also think about getting a second opinion. This never hurts. It's better to have too much info than not enough. In this area, knowledge is truly power.
What 'non' invasive treatments have you tried? I know, from your post, they must not have worked, but just asking .
Though your pain is severe, if more and more surgeries are required, a risk of the condition worsening is possible. The more work done on this joint (or any joint) osteoarthritis will set in and possibly rheumatoid arthritis. I am not trying to scare you and I hope you are not. I just want for you to make an informed decision.
(Because of an injury, I now have two bilateral total joint replacements.....today is the 2 year anniversary. And, I have been told I will be in severe 24/7 pain the rest of my life. I am 33 (today). Now, doctors are telling me they don't want to treat me because of the complexity of my case)
Whatever you decide, please take care.
I know I probably didn't help you much. But, I do hope you feel better,
Last edited by meditation; 10-12-2007 at 08:56 PM.
thanks so much for your very informative reply and I'm really sorry to hear of all you've been through, yet you're still in pain and at such a young age. I'm 65 and have had the pain, gradually getting worse for 40 years or so, but in some ways its easier to cope with now I've stopped work, don't have children to care for, etc.
You ask what other treatments I've tried, which is medication - anti-inflammatories (Voltarol & Vioxx) for years, but they didn't help, I now take Tramadol hydrochloride/Zydol when its really bad and that eases the pain, but I understand they're opiate based, so I know I mustn't get into the habit of taking them regularly. I've had physio, done exercises but not had a brace or splint - its not been suggested. I mentioned to my surgeon (maxial-facial) who works at a major centre in the U.K., that I'd read I should get a 2nd opinion if surgery were suggested and he said, what he's planning to do is very minimal, keyhole surgery and he does a huge number every year, with no adverse effects other than very occasionally slight paralysis on the forehead (which he said could be treated by Botoxing the other side and I'd look 10 years younger!). Other than that, he said there are no risks, but he did stress that if we ever got to the stage of considering "open" surgery, then he'd encourage me to get a 2nd and even a 3rd opinion.
I'm obviously going to give it some more thought and look into it myself more, but I'm inclined to think I will give it a try (he's just going to do one side first), as I can't bear the thought of living like this for the rest of my life, however long it might be, so feel I've got nothing to lose - unless, of course, it made the pain worse - that would be horrendous.
If there's anyone else whose had it done, who could let me know if it helped them, or if it made the pain worse, I'd be really grateful.
Thank you so much for replying to me and I'm so sorry for the terrible time you're having, it really isn't right for someone so young to be given up on, the way you describe. Can't you find someone who could help you?
I am trying not to give up on my treatment. Yet, my options are probably limited, at this point. I just have to hang on and hope that technology and treatments for TMJD get better.
It is interesting to me your surgeon relayed that his 'surgery was minimal' so no second opinion was necessary.
No surgery is minimal. And, if you feel like getting a second opinion will help you, especially to make up your mind, then please do it. The risks of this surgery are not as miniscule as he is trying to relay. While risks, like facial paralysis are rare, they do occur.
Take care and good luck should you decide to have surgery.
Last edited by meditation; 10-13-2007 at 12:04 PM.
I haven't had arthroscopy but I have had arthrocentesis, and it was a total disaster. My oral surgeon said it could only help me or keep me the same -- there was no chance of anything getting worse. I came out of the procedure with a locked jaw and an opening of 30mm -- about half of what I had before -- and additional pain. You need to research whatever procedure you're having and talk to patients of his who have had it done. That would be my best advice.
thanks for your reply. The experience you had sounds terrible. Did you have it done in the U.S. or U.K? Wouldn't you have a case for sueing if he didn't tell you the truth before you had it done?
Your suggestion of talking to other patients who've had the same surgery by my surgeon is a very good one and I'm going to make an appointment NOW to see my dentist, (who referred me to the surgeon), to see if she can put me in touch with others who've had it done.
If there's anyone who's had arthroscopy for displaced discs, I'd really like to hear from them - whether their experience was good or bad. Many thanks
Hi there agony sue did you ever find any research on your arthroscopy and did you decide to have this done, my consultant is also saying for me to have this done and i have heard all sorts of things on here for that and now am worried.