The American Society of Temporomandibular Surgeons (ASTMJS) is a non profit organization of maxillofacial, orthopedic, plastic/ reconstructive and oral surgical specialists dedicated to promoting education, research, and patient services concerning orthopedic disease of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Any member of this organization must possess significant surgical experience and an interest in performing research or clinical studies of orthopedic disease or dysfunction of this joint system of the body.
Parameters and Guidelines for Treatment
In the United States, the National Institute of Health has estimated that 10 million American have painful TM joint dysfunction, the majority of which are self limiting or respond to non surgical treatment. As in orthopedic management of other joint systems of the body, anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, orthotics or splints, and rest are usually sufficient initial treatment modalities. However, the time given to initial treatment must be finite when such treatment proves to be ineffective or the clinical condition deteriorates.
Patients with true and significant orthopedic diseases of the TM Joint will generally have unremitting joint pain, joint locking, and an inability to load the involved joints(s) with chewing force. Such conditions can be due to previous jaw trauma, developmental or growth anomalies, or various conditions that can lead to arthritic degeneration of the joint. Such conditions deserve appropriate evaluation with appropriate imaging studies to make an accurate diagnosis (MRI, Arthoscopy, etc.).
Surgical procedures are indicated when pre-surgical imaging studies confirm pathologic and structural changes of the joint that creates significant pain, dysfunction, and impairment.