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Old 05-25-2012, 12:20 PM   #1
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Update and question about stretched ligaments

Hello all -
Well, I went for my one month checkup after getting fitted with my repositioning splint. Even though we were able to recapture my disc through a manipulation by my TMJ specialist a month ago, my left disc slipped again because my ligaments are torn/stretched on that side. Boo. So I am at 35mm opening at the moment. Better than the 29 I was a month ago though.

We are doing some prolotherapy to help heal what we can of my ligaments/increase opening, and my specialist has told me that this is the best way to address the problem and plenty of people live with a locked jaw OK. He said that the repositional splint will slow down the disease (getting ball/socket in right place), will help decrease my symptoms, and eventually my opening will increase, but will never be "unlocked". He said that in his 25 years of practice, he has only sent a handful of ppl to surgery and they were cases where they were in extreme, can't get out of bed, throwing up, type pain. He said I was not a surgery candidate. From what I've read the only way to fix torn ligaments is surgically tightenting them.

Anyway, I just wanted to see if anyone else had dealt with this. My symptoms are decreasing, but I am disappointed that I can't be unlocked with actually having ligaments repaired. I'll live, but it just sucks.

Out of curiosity, has anyone had surgery to tighten ligaments and what were your results? I totally trust my specialist, but the analyst in me wants to know all options that are out there.

Thoughts? Experiences please share!!!

 
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Old 05-26-2012, 01:30 PM   #2
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Re: Update and question about stretched ligaments

That is a new one for me.

I have lax ligaments, but in my case my opening is actually averages around 53. I will say that I've been wearing a repositioning splint for about 2 years now and found it very successful in getting my jaw into better positioning and getting the muscles to relax from their state of constant spasming.

I wish you well with your treatment.
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:51 AM   #3
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Re: Update and question about stretched ligaments

The surgeries if you want to research is arthroscopy or mitek anchoring. If you have loose ligaments the mitek may be the only option. You can google larry wolford in Dallas as he kind of pioneered it.

Surgery will probalby not be an option for you until you have done 6-12 months of splints to try and recapture. I went from 35mm to 50mm in about 2 months. Still not much reduction in pain for me, but the body will try and rebuild those ligaments.

 
Old 05-29-2012, 05:56 PM   #4
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Re: Update and question about stretched ligaments

MountainReader and gretel07,
How do you know that you have lax ligaments? Was it determined through imagings such as MRI or CT scans? Can you 'feel' that the ligaments are lax?

gretel07,
Sorry I don't have experience with surgery so I can't give feedback about that. But I would like to ask about the prolotherapy that you mentioned. Have you done it already? If yes, how did it go?

 
Old 05-29-2012, 07:08 PM   #5
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Re: Update and question about stretched ligaments

I was actually diagonsed with ligament laxity in other joints. I'm not double jointed though. I don't "feel" the laxity in any of my joints. It is just "normal" for me. As an adult in my late 30's, I suddenly started having some joint issues develop one at a time--shoulder, then TMJ, then wrist. It turns out that my shoulder sublexes out of position every time I move it. While I've been to different specialists for each joint area, they have all agreed about the laxity. The first joint I had problems with was my shoulder and my orthopedic doc did a test for my laxity, which I've since had repeated. You can administer one on yourself to get an idea for if you have any hypermobility. Try searching Beighton Score or hypermobility test. It doesn't check all joints, but it will give you an idea of if you are prone to problems.

For my TMJD, my tmj orthodontist did a lot of manual checking for the laxity in addition to taking a very thorough health history. He diagnosed my TMJ laxity officially.

My MRI showed my discs had slipped, but not the "laxity". My 3D cone beam computed tomography scan showed my jaw pushed back towards my ear, condyle degeneration and bone loss. I also had a follow-up of this scan as my repositioning splint treatment progressed to check on the positioning of my bite before moving to Phase II.

My TMJ orthodontist highly recommended trying Prolotherapy as well, but I just couldn't afford it and treatment with him both. I did have treatment with a PT for cervicalgia and myofascial pain though, as well as orofacial trigger point releases that REALLY helped. My orthodontist practices holistic dentistry so whole body health is an important part of my TMJD treatment.

I'm curious, have any of you with lax ligaments had prior surgeries? My TMJ dentist also thinks there is a connection between my TMJD, laxity and the intubations they did in surgeries I had just before developing my TMJD.
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Last edited by MountainReader; 05-29-2012 at 07:13 PM.

 
Old 05-30-2012, 01:33 PM   #6
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Re: Update and question about stretched ligaments

Thanks for the info on the Mitek anchors. I guess if it comes to that, I'll just go with it but hopefully it can be avoided. I am encouraged that you have gone from 35 to 50! I would be happy with 40!!!

Prolotherapy - so far so good. The injections are covered in the cost of my splint treatment. Otherwise, they are 80 bucks a pop. Not cheap. The injection causes inflammation in the joint/ligament area which initially hurts more, but then I start to feel better. I'm not sure how long I will keep doing them, but if I am making progress (any type of progress really!) I will take it. You can't take any advil after getting them, that is the one caveat.

Last night I actually had a decent night's sleep in months. I am hoping that is a good sign as my doctor told me that TMJ is related to sleep problems.

I have not had an MRI - holding off on that because in order to get one I would have to go to a surgeon and then get a referral for one. And, if I don't need or want surgery, would and MRI even help? Clearly my left disc is displaced.

 
Old 05-30-2012, 01:36 PM   #7
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Re: Update and question about stretched ligaments

I should also say that I had prior surgeries as a child and teen, and that my TMJ Specialist has theorized that the over extension of my jaw may have been what caused this problem. Esp the extraction of my wisdom teeth - back when I was a teen.

 
Old 06-16-2012, 05:30 PM   #8
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Re: Update and question about stretched ligaments

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbuilder2 View Post
The surgeries if you want to research is arthroscopy or mitek anchoring. If you have loose ligaments the mitek may be the only option. You can google larry wolford in Dallas as he kind of pioneered it.

Surgery will probalby not be an option for you until you have done 6-12 months of splints to try and recapture. I went from 35mm to 50mm in about 2 months. Still not much reduction in pain for me, but the body will try and rebuild those ligaments.
I would do a lot more research before even considering Mitek Anchors. There is too much controversy involving Mitek Anchors. Most doctors do not like the Mitek Anchors. Before considering Miteks, you need to consult with doctors other than the ones who have pioneered them to get the honest answers on their outcome. A great number of Mitek paitents end up with total joint replacement due to resorption and other major complications. I endured Mitek failure by the Texas pioneer you are referring to in Dallas.

 
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