TMJ Arthroscopy

Post-Operative Care instructions for TMJ Arthroscopy

TMJ Arthroscopy
  • You are going to have pain and swelling for a few days. Bruising is also likely. This is normal.  Ibuprofen and keeping your head elevated will help with this process.
  • You will likely be given a long-acting local anesthetic at the end of your procedure. This should help significantly with your pain but may also make areas of your face feel numb.  It can even weaken your ability to move certain muscles of your face (moving your mouth, raising your eyebrows, and closing your eyes tightly). This will subside as the anesthetic wears off but can persist for multiple days.
  • Feeling as if there is fluid or pressure in your ears with decreased hearing is also normal for a few days. You may also note dried blood or other debris in your ear for days to weeks.
  • You have small incisions where the needles and instruments were placed. Keep these areas clean and moist.  Place antibiotic ointment on these areas 3-5 times a day for the first 5 days and then transition to Vitamin E based lotion or Vaseline. Remember, scabbing leads to scarring so keep them clean and moist.
  • If you wear a bite guard at night, please continue to wear it if you can tolerate it.
  • Pain Medications:

The following medications are part of a regimen we recommend for most patients.  However, due to specific health conditions, allergies, or other medications you take, this plan may be altered to fit your specific needs.  If the plan discussed with you at your appointments differs from below, please stick to the plan discussed and use the following only as reference. 

You will typically be prescribed multiple medications to assist in pain control while attempting to limit opioids or other medications that have addictive potential or undesirable side effects. Please take the medications listed below.  THEY ARE LISTED IN ORDER OF IMPORTANCE/PRIORITY, HOWEVER, THE FIRST TWO ARE OFTEN ALL THAT IS NEEDED AND SHOULD BE TAKEN ON THE DEFINED SCHEDULE LISTED.

  • Ibuprofen (600 or 800mg depending on what is prescribed for you) every 8 hours with food for 5 days unless G.I. symptoms arise. Alternatively, you may be prescribed Meloxicam or Naproxen. After Day 5, take on an as needed basis.
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol) 1000mg every 8 hours for 3 days and then as needed thereafter.
  • Lyrica (Pregabalin) 80mg if liquid (75mg if pill form) every 8 hours for three days. Then as needed (often not needed) thereafter.
  • As an alternative to or in addition to Lyrica, you may be prescribed an opioid that is ONLY TO BE TAKEN FOR EXTREME PAIN not controlled with the other medications.
  • Early mobilization and physical therapy are key to improving your condition and NO ONE CAN DO THIS FOR YOU. If you do not do this, you cannot expect to have long-term improvement.
  • Starting the day after surgery, For 10 days, perform the following movements 5 times a day, performing 5 repetitions each time.

1.) Opening maximally to a point where it does not hurt but feels like you are starting to stretch your jaw.  At this point, use your fingers to gently stretch a little further and hold for 10 seconds.  This should not be very painful but you should feel a good stretch and slightly uncomfortable.

2.) Move your jaw side to side (left to right) as far as you can and hold for 5 seconds at each side.  This should not be very painful but you should feel a good stretch and slightly uncomfortable.

3.) Move your jaw forward as far as you can as if sticking out your lower teeth and chin and hold for 5 seconds.

If there are any questions or concerns, please call us anytime during business hours at 480-896-0600 or after hours at 602.492.3177 if the concern is urgent.

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