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Old 01-23-2013, 05:59 AM   #1
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TMJ replacement surgery

Hi-
I am having TMJ replacement surgery next week and really nervous about it. Can you please share your experiences?

My background-
I have a TMJ lock jaw for all my life. I am 35 years old now. I fell down when I was I think less than a year and have not been able to open my full mouth since then. I have been operated 3 times earlier with no success, primarily because they were trying to fix my joint rather than replacing it.
I don't have any pain in my jaw or any discomfort. The only thing is that I can not open my mouth and I have difficulty while eating.
My teeth are getting bad now especially the one's in the back and it is impossible for my dentist to reach out to them.

Other than that, I don't have any issues.

I recently met a doctor in Dallas- Dr. Douglas Sinn and he seems to be quite confident that once we replace my right TMJ its going to be fine with me. My left side looks fine.

I need your help with the following:
- Success rates of the the replacements
- How long is the pain there? Is it temporary or permanent? I have read lot of things about the pain.
- How much time does it take to get back to normal life.
- Any specific precautions that I should be taking
- Any possible side effects
- How long are the Dr. visits? I don't want to make it a permanent thing to have to visit the doctor.

Sorry for the long post. But I really need your help.
Thanks much and looking forward to get some response/ feedback.

Thanks much
Bhavesh

 
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:16 PM   #2
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Re: TMJ replacement surgery

Hello!

You did not say which TMJ implant you will be receiving. I just under went my 17th TMJ surgery July 18, 2012 and I had my left Fossa replaced. I am currently on my third set of TMJ Concept Implants.

PLEASE keep in mind, we all suffer from TMJ and have under gone different surgeries/treatment plans. Everyone is different so as far as the healing and pain go we all have different experiances. I did not get relief from the pain and discomfort until the last surgery I had. For the first time in 20 years I am pain and pill free. I have broken a screw so I have to have surgery again on March 4th.

You are undergoing a major surgery and need to prepare yourself for the healing afterwards. Again we all heal different and we all have different levels of pain. You should be prepared for pain and discomfort. The only advise I can give you is stay positive and prepare yourself, physical, mental, emotionally as well as you can. Your body will heal at it's own rate and you can not push or force that and you need to allow your body to heal. If you are going to be on a liquid or soft diet after the surgery make sure you have those items before surgery along with ice and heat packs. Do you know if your OS plans to wire your mouth closed while you heal? If they do then you need to make sure you have enough liquids on hand to help your body heal. I do not want to scare you, but I have had surgeries that when I awoke in recovery I was in more pain than before the surgery and others that when I awoke I felt good and went home without staying in the hospital. Before every surgery I clean and bleach my house, wash my bed linens to try and reduce the chance of infection sice my head is being cut open. Try and stay calm and relaxed, I know it is hard but the less stress your body is in the better it can heal and remember healing takes time!

I hope I have been able to help a little and I hope the surgery goes Great for you!

Take Care!
Shirlett

 
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:34 PM   #3
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Re: TMJ replacement surgery

Thanks for your response. I am going for TMJ replacement on the right side. My left side is fine. I have never had pain on my right side. Its just that I was never able to open my mouth completely.

Are there any questions/precautions that you might suggest me to ask before my surgery?
How long did you take the pain killers?

Again, thank you so much for your response.

Bhavesh

 
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:38 PM   #4
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Re: TMJ replacement surgery

Thanks for your response. I am going for TMJ replacement on the right side. My left side is fine. I have never had pain on my right side. Its just that I was never able to open my mouth completely.

Are there any questions/precautions that you might suggest me to ask before my surgery?
How long did you take the pain killers?

Also, not sure if its related. May I ask, why did have to do this surgery 17 times on you?

Typically, how long will I have to be out from work?

Again, thank you so much for your response.

Bhavesh

 
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:34 PM   #5
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Re: TMJ replacement surgery

Bhavesh,

I have had so many surgeries due to I have broken the left Fossa implant twice and the third left Fossa replacement was because for unknown reasons it came unscrewed and was slinging around in my head. As far as being out of work and the pain medication it all depends on how you heal. I just returned to work in September 2012 and had been out of work since November 2000. I have been on pain medication since 1997. As of right now I am on as needed pain medication. The last surgery I had in July was on a Wednesday and I stopped taking the pain pills that Friday. So two days. BUT remember I have had numerous surgeries and we can not compare pain levels. What I may be able to "deal with" you may not and vice versa. There is no time limit for healing. You have to remember to allow your body to heal and not rush/push it. I am not saying turn into a zombie but you have to allow your body to heal. Drink lots of water and try to avoid processed food prior to the surgery. Try to stay positive and prepare yourself for the surgery. For me when I wake up in recovery I start talking to my body and telling it that it is time to start healing. Again, I have had numerous surgeries but can still recall the surgery when I had the first bi-lateral TMJ Concepts put in. I was in the hospital for 5 days and that was the worst pain I have every experienced. The last surgery in July, I was in the OR for 8 hours woke up in rocovery, refused the pain medication they were trying to give me, was back at the hotel an hour later and went home that afternoon. So this last surgery was unlike the ones I have undergone in the past. Do you know how long the OS plans to keep you in the hospital? Does your recovery plan include physical therapy? How long are you scheduled to be in the OR? Does your OS have any diet restrictions or suggestions for afterwards? You said you have had surgeries in the past, how did you heal after those? What level of pain if any were you in? Do you know how and where the OS plans to open you up? Some go in front of the ear and cut down towards the chin, others go behind the ear and down. Do you know how big of an incision the OS plans to make? How many stitches the OS thinks will be needed? For me it does not matter if they cut in front or behind my ear(s) there is still discomfort during the healing process. Just keep in mind we all deal with pain, surgery, discomfort in different ways and levels. Ask your OS questions. There are NO DUMB/STUPID questions. This is YOUR body and YOU are having surgery, so if you have question(s) ASK! Ask your OS what you can expect upon waking in the recovery room, what you can expect/prepare for in the days that follow the surgery. The only advise I feel I can really give you is prepare yourself the best you can and you are doing that by asking questions. Stay positive. Set a reasonable goal for yourself that you want to heal and by this time frame you want to be healed and pain free. Just stay positive and allow yourself time to heal and heal properly so hopefully this will be your last surgery.

I really hope you get the relief you need and I really hope all goes Great for you!

Take Care!
Shirlett

 
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:45 PM   #6
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Re: TMJ replacement surgery

Hi Shirlett,

I am so happy to hear you are still doing well since your last joint surgery. I am facing left side joint surgery in February. This is around surgery #8. What symptoms did you have when your fossa broke?

KG

 
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:22 PM   #7
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Re: TMJ replacement surgery

Hey KG,

Nothing before it broke but when it broke I felt it. I have fired a shot gun many times in my life and that is the best description I can give, it felt like a shot gun went off inside my head. The vibration was insane! I could not stand or speak I had no hearing in my left ear and I have no words to describe the pain. It was a horrid experiance. My husband and I were sitting on the couch watching a television program and I was doing my exercises, open close open close, NO props, just controlled open and close and bam it snapped in half. We went to the local ER and they refused to examine me or even touch me and told my husband he needed to drive me to Shands in Gainesville, Fl now. I can say since I swelled so fast and I already had nerve damage in my face, once the swelling was so extreme the pain eased off or I went into shock and just zoned out. The second one that broke was not so extreme. I felt like I had been popped with a thick rubber band under my skin then the swelling and I knew what it was when it snapped. Both times for me the noise was so loud but my husband never heard anything. I thought the neighbors could have heard it. With both breaks everytime I tried to open I had a very painful pinch inside my face and extreme pressure on my left cheek bone, so much that it felt as if my cheek bone was breaking.

Do you have implants right now or will this be your first set? Please keep in mind my case is not the norm. I only know of one person who has had TJR (Total Joint Replacement) and it did not work out for them pain and function wise. All the others, most on this support site have had dealable results and can tell you better in thier own words how they feel about having a TJR and what results they have experianced. Yes, I have had a lot of surgeries and I am on my third set of TMJ Concepts BUT for where I am right now as I type this, it has all been worth it to me. I do have a broken screw and another backing out on the left side and will return to the operating room on Monday, March 4th BUT it could have been worse and I respect that. I am pain free and I am not on any medication. I do have pain days and right now I do experiance a little discomfort when the area the screw head in lodged in swells BUT I no longer have to take a loratab first thing when I wake up in the morning and pain and pills no longer rule my life. I take every day and get what I can out of it. If the pain stays away for two months, two years or ten, I am taking it and I would do it all over again to just be pain free. I never ever thought I would be pain free again in this life and I want to stress to others to Never Give Up Hope! We are all here for a reason and we are not alone on this TMJ road. We can support each other, we can learn from each other and know that we are never alone. I never gave up hope but I never allowed myself to think I would be pain free and here I am. Maybe for me the third time is the charm! I have learned alot but most of all I have learned just how strong my will really is. I refused to allow the TMJ to rule me and I vowed to reclaim some part of my life back so I could really live and not just exist and that is what I have done. I know it may not last till the end of my life but I am taking what I have and running with it. Because of this screw issue my trip to Peru has had to be rescheduled so I will be leaving May 1st for a four week trip and I am so excited and looking forward to exploring Peru, again something I never thought I was going to get to do because of the pain and discomfort but I am going and going to enjoy every second.

I hope your surgery goes well and you get results. Keep me updated!
Take Care!
Shirlett

 
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:36 AM   #8
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Re: TMJ replacement surgery

Hi Shirlett,

You and I have talked a few times in the past. I had a Lefort III piece surgery in 2005 that relapsed. I then had Arthroscopic surgery on my right joint due to dislocated discs. From there I saw a surgeon in Dallas and had Mitek Anchor surgery and then a Lefort 4 piece surgery combined with BSSO. The Mitek Anchors caused bone resorption and were replaced with bilateral total joints in 2009. My ROM did improve from 10mm to 43mm with the total joints, but this was short lived. I also had complications from the fat grafting from the total joint surgery and had stomach surgery 3 months following the joint surgery. The belief now is something is going on with the left prostheses causing my decreased ROM and pain. My ROM now is only about 10mm. My surgeon in Dallas feels I have an obstruction limiting my opening in the left prostheses, whereas, my surgeon in Vegas feels the left prostheses in not positioned correctly and wants to remove the prostheses and try to reposition.

KG

 
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:19 AM   #9
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Re: TMJ replacement surgery

KG,

What do you have in now? I have only had my own rib and the TMJ Concepts put in. For me, I can say the first set of bi-lateral implants I felt 24/7. The second set the only thing I felt was the left Fossa. This 3rd Fossa I do not feel at all. I forget the implants are even there. Keep asking questions and get another opinion and if you are still unsure get another. Remember this is your body and you make the call so be sure you are comfortable before you make any decisions. I hope you get the answers you are looking for!
Take Care!
Shirlett

 
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Old 03-30-2013, 04:31 AM   #10
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Re: TMJ replacement surgery

My case is similar to yours in that I have had decreased opening (10 to 15mm) since my first jaw surgery in 2005. Since my first Lefort 3 piece surgery, I have undergone Arthroscopic surgery, Mitek Anchor surgery, Lefort 4 piece, BSSO, Bilateral Total Joint surgery, and a recent left condyle (TMJ Concepts) explant. Once my bone heals my surgeon is planning on putting the prostheses back in. On a good note, my opening has increased from 10mm to 40mm since the explant. Unfortunately, my bite has shifted so bad with the prostheses removal that it is still difficult to chew food. My biggest advice is to start physical therapy as soon as possible. My explant surgery was on February 20th, and I started PT on the 21st of February. Since you have been locked down so long, you will need PT as soon as possible. When I had my prostheses put in, I did gain increaed ROM to 43mm, but it was short lived. I did not have any PT in place following this surgery in 2009. So far, I am still maintaining my 40mm opening since my explant surgery on February 20 I am also still in PT until I see my surgeon on April 29th.

Karen

 
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Old 03-30-2013, 05:22 AM   #11
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Re: TMJ replacement surgery

Quote:
Originally Posted by bhaveshkapoor View Post
Hi-
I am having TMJ replacement surgery next week and really nervous about it. Can you please share your experiences?

My background-
I have a TMJ lock jaw for all my life. I am 35 years old now. I fell down when I was I think less than a year and have not been able to open my full mouth since then. I have been operated 3 times earlier with no success, primarily because they were trying to fix my joint rather than replacing it.
I don't have any pain in my jaw or any discomfort. The only thing is that I can not open my mouth and I have difficulty while eating.
My teeth are getting bad now especially the one's in the back and it is impossible for my dentist to reach out to them.

Other than that, I don't have any issues.

I recently met a doctor in Dallas- Dr. Douglas Sinn and he seems to be quite confident that once we replace my right TMJ its going to be fine with me. My left side looks fine.

I need your help with the following:
- Success rates of the the replacements
- How long is the pain there? Is it temporary or permanent? I have read lot of things about the pain.
- How much time does it take to get back to normal life.
- Any specific precautions that I should be taking
- Any possible side effects
- How long are the Dr. visits? I don't want to make it a permanent thing to have to visit the doctor.

Sorry for the long post. But I really need your help.
Thanks much and looking forward to get some response/ feedback.

Thanks much
Bhavesh
Bhavesh have you talked to your doctor about these questions? These are all very legitimate quesitons which your doctor should be able to answer, or has the doctor answered these questions and you are simply looking for other people's experiences?

 
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Old 04-08-2014, 01:26 PM   #12
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Re: TMJ replacement surgery

How is everyone doing with their jaws now?? Did you get through your surgery ok Bhavesh?
I have had both sides replaced and am currently waiting for my second implant for my right side. The joint was infected and removed 9 months after implantation. ( January 2014). My new joint is currently being made by TMJ concepts and I hope to have surgery next month

 
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Old 04-10-2014, 12:19 PM   #13
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Re: TMJ replacement surgery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mommakris38 View Post
How is everyone doing with their jaws now?? Did you get through your surgery ok Bhavesh?
I have had both sides replaced and am currently waiting for my second implant for my right side. The joint was infected and removed 9 months after implantation. ( January 2014). My new joint is currently being made by TMJ concepts and I hope to have surgery next month
Good luck with your surgery -hope everything goes well - when you feel like it write a post and let us know how your are doing.

Take care

 
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Old 04-15-2014, 05:44 PM   #14
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Re: TMJ replacement surgery

Thanks Canuck65. I just got a date of June 4, 2014 for the surgery. Now the waiting begins. So ready. Right now

 
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Old 04-15-2014, 06:57 PM   #15
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Re: TMJ replacement surgery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mommakris38 View Post
How is everyone doing with their jaws now?? Did you get through your surgery ok Bhavesh?
I have had both sides replaced and am currently waiting for my second implant for my right side. The joint was infected and removed 9 months after implantation. ( January 2014). My new joint is currently being made by TMJ concepts and I hope to have surgery next month
Do you know what type of infection you had around the prostheses? What type of symptoms did you have to warrant you had an infection? I wish the the best for your upcoming surgery in June. Did they place you on a Picc line for your infection? So many questions...lol

 
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