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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board

Disc Removal w/ Fat Graft Surgery

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Old 10-30-2009, 06:15 PM   #1
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Disc Removal w/ Fat Graft Surgery

I've posted before about my TMJ troubles since the extraction of my four impacted wisdom teeth in January of 2007. Both of my discs were dislocated during the extraction, and since then, I have had constant bone, muscle and nerve pain. Recently, we've decided to remove one disc and pack the joint with fat. For history on the situation, these are the three surgeries I've had over the past two years:

November 2007: Bilateral arthroscopy. Left disc sutured in place, right disc did not need suturing and was just repaired and re-positioned, scar tissue cleaned out. Surgery was not succesful in relieving my pain.
**We tried different types of PT, biofeedback, Botox, cortisone, joint lubricant injections, etc. to try to help my pain and avoid open-jaw surgery, unsuccessfully.
October 2008: Left joint open-jaw surgery. Mitek anchor screwed in to anchor my disc into place, abdominal fat graft put into my joint as cushioning. Surgery helped opening some, but my jaw was locking frequently from the right side.
**Continued PT and had two procedures under IV sedation where the surgeon did manual manipulation to try to break up scar tissue, cortisone injections, and joint lubricant injections. Both times, the procedure only caused more pain. I also began getting Botox injections from my surgery, who did two vials in my masseter and temples. Pain and locking continued.
April 2009: Right joint open-jaw surgery. Same procedure as performed on left joint in Oct. 2008.

While those surgeries have all improved my opening, my bite is progressively getting worse - deviating more to the left, my muscle pain is unbearable even while getting two vials worth of Botox injections up to every 10 weeks, my jaw is continuing to lock (at this point, it's pretty much locking every day) and my pain is requiring me to need strong pain meds and muscle relaxants basically every four hours. My surgeon is looking to put off joint replacement for as long as possible, so, he's wondering if some of the pain is coming directly from the degenerating discs. To try to help the pain, he recommended that we remove a disc on only one side to start with, and pack the joint with abdominal fat to cushion where the disc would be. If the surgery relieves me of some pain, he will do the same surgery on the other side, knowing that my discs are playing a factor in my pain. However, if the removal of one disc doesn't relieve any pain, I'm that much more closer to bilateral joint replacement.

Has anyone had a discectomy, especially with a fat graft? I'm curious to know if the surgery was successful, what the recovery was like, and any other details. As of now, my surgery is scheduled for November 30. Thanks so much for the help!

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