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What is temporomandibular joint arthrocentesis?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint that connects the mandible to the skull and whose function is involved in chewing and swallowing, speaking and other movements of the mouth. Sometimes, as a result of various causes, it may present a pathology that is most often translated by difficulty opening the mouth, joint noises or pain. Treatment is diverse, depending on the severity and cause, and usually involves a multidisciplinary approach.

Joint surgery is used in a minority of patients and has specific indications. In particular, TMJ arthrocentesis is a minimally invasive and scar-free medical procedure, usually performed under local anesthesia (with or without sedation), which consists of a joint washout. Its objectives are to eliminate inflammatory mediators (substances released by the tissues that stimulate the inflammatory process), release small intra-articular adhesions, change the viscosity of the synovial fluid and eliminate the effect of intra-articular vacuum, among others. It can also be complemented with the intra-articular infiltration of anti-inflammatory drugs or analgesics, plasma rich in growth factors or hyaluronic acid (depending on the objective). Thus, it is a treatment that contributes to the relief of symptoms and improvement of joint function.

The maxillofacial surgeon is the indicated medical doctor to evaluate you in consultation and understand, through the analysis of your complaints, physical examination and imaging tests, if this procedure is indicated in your case.

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