Arthrocentesis versus non-surgical intervention as initial treatment for temporomandibular joint arthralgia: a randomized controlled trial with long-term follow-up

Y. H. Tang, L. M. Vos, A. J. Tuin, J. J.R. Huddleston Slater, B. Gareb, N. B. van Bakelen, F. K.L. Spijkervet*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Arthrocentesis for arthralgia of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is often only indicated when conservative, non-surgical interventions have failed. However, performing arthrocentesis as initial therapy may facilitate earlier and better recuperation of the joint. The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of this therapy with a long-term follow-up. Eighty-four patients were randomly allocated to receive either arthrocentesis as initial treatment (n = 41) or non-surgical intervention (n = 43). Pain (100-mm visual analogue scale, VAS) and mandibular function impairment questionnaire scores (MFIQ, 0–100) were recorded at 3, 12, and 26 weeks, and ≥ 5 years (median 6.2, interquartile range 5.6–7.4 years). Univariable analyses were performed and linear mixed-effect models were constructed. Patients in the arthrocentesis group experienced significantly lower TMJ arthralgia compared to those treated non-surgically (pain during movement: −10.23 mm (95% confidence interval −17.86; −2.60); pain at rest: − 8.39 mm (95% confidence interval −13.70; −3.08)), while mandibular function remained similar in the two groups (MFIQ −2.41 (95% confidence interval −8.61; 3.78)). Of the final sample, 10 patients (10/39, 26%) in the non-surgical intervention group and two patients (2/34, 6%) in the arthrocentesis group received additional treatment during follow-up. Thus, initial treatment with arthrocentesis reduced TMJ arthralgia more efficaciously than non-surgical intervention in the long term, while maintaining similar mandibular function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595-603
JournalInternational Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Volume52
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May-2023

Keywords

  • Conservative treatment
  • Craniomandibular disorders
  • Minimally invasive surgical procedures
  • Occlusal splint
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pain
  • Physical therapy
  • Therapeutic irrigation

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