Discussions that mention lexapro

TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint board

Hi there,
Yep, we definitely do belong to a small club. My surgeon before I had the total joint replacements was absolutely amazing, but unfortunately he just didn't do the specialized surgery that I needed eventually.. he used to tell me that less than 5% of TMJ disorder patients need surgery (at least with his patients.. I bet the number is bigger than that in general), and of that 5%, much less than 1% end up going on to surgeries that your daughter and I have had. We would joke that I was in the .00005% of patients with these problems. I have talked with probably thousands of TMJ disorder patients over the years and have only met one besides your daughter that even remotely seemed the same as me.
Thank you for your compliments. I think part of my Dad's feelings are pure frustration, out of spending so much money, out of not seeing me doing the things I should be, and out of knowing that I'm in pain. Some people no matter how much you educate them about the disease just aren't equipped to handle something like this... so I know he is doing the best *he* can do.. and I appreciate that.. it just gets really frustrating at times.
Pain management has been pretty simple for me, I am on various medications for pain (long acting opiates), nerve pain (Neurontin and Klonipin), sleep (Klonipin), depression (Lexapro), and muscle spasms (Soma). Mostly the trick is in finding someone who is skilled at titrating the medications up and down, and adding/tweaking things when need be. You have to find a doctor who is comfortable treating chronic intractable pain long term... and most importantly, your daughter has to feel like she can trust the doctor and talk with him/her about her concerns. I have built a great relationship with my doctor over the years. I have also been on various studies for non-cancer chronic pain which are usually a good thing because I get state of the art treatment/medications before they are approved by the FDA. My advice is to ask around... do you have a favorite pharmacist who has helped out and knows your daughter's situation? He or she probably knows of a doctor in the area like this. You might ask your daughter's surgeon... the reason I got referred to my pain specialist is because he was literally right down the road from my surgeon and they knew each other from treating the same patients. Basically what I've found is that the good doctors know other good doctors... so ask the docs who have taken an interest in really trying to improve your daughter's life.

Wow, her last surgery was 2 months ago? Well, if it was the total joint replacements, then she isn't even done with the swelling yet - it was MONTHS before my swelling went down... this could mean good things, that she might still have some pain relief ahead of her.. you never know. It's definitely too early to consider another surgery.... but yet, I understand your position. Severe pain makes people desperate. I doubt I would have total joint replacements if it weren't for the pain.... it makes me cringe to say that, because I pretty much KNEW going into it that it might be a long shot... but I had to do it anyway.

Yes, the people at TMJ Concepts are absolutely fantastic. I have talked with a number of people there including the president of the company and they have all been incredibly helpful and sympathetic to what I've gone through. My favorite thing about them is that they do not endorse the total joint replacements for just anyone - they will actually encourage people to NOT have them.

I have seen the studies you mentioned... I was going to have radiation before my total joint replacements but I was considered not a candidate because I have had salivary gland stones, and there is a chance of those with radiation. Of all things!!! LOL! The stones always seemed rather benign to me, but who knows.. When I said there was no research, I guess I meant in comparison to other problems... most disorders that are this disabling have been researched a lot more. Since there is little funding in the TMJ world, and because the patients are complicated, there is little incentive for physicians to go into treating/researching TMJ disorder.

I really believe that pain management could help your daughter get closer to her goals. It has really helped me, and while I don't work right now, I have off and on (although not full time & it must be flexible). I find that as with many chronic pain problems, this flares, and some times are worse than others.

Anyway, I better get to bed before I fall asleep here. I will write again soon. Hope you're having a good night.