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Clin Oral Investig. 2003 Mar;7(1):52-5. Epub 2003 Jan 25.

Treatment of recurrent temporomandibular joint dislocation with intramuscular botulinum toxin injection.

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Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 400, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.


Recurrent dislocation of the mandibular condyle poses a difficult problem for affected patients. In the course of time, dislocations often become more frequent and more difficult to avoid. Even with good patient compliance, conservative treatment is often not sufficient. Operative procedures have also been described for the treatment of temporomandibular joint dislocation. However, these interventions are invasive, involving open arthrotomy with possible complications, and cannot safely guarantee a successful outcome. On the other hand, botulinum toxin injections into the lateral pterygoid muscles offer the option of a predictable and prolonged period without renewed dislocation. We present the results of this treatment carried out in 21 patients with recurrent temporomandibular joint dislocation. Four patients were treated following unsuccessful physical therapy and the use of occlusal splints. The remaining 17 patients were treated for a number of conditions resulting in dislocation, including some with senile dementia and mental impairment in whom compliance with conservative measures was poor or completely absent. Injections were given on a 3-month basis in order to have a sustained effect. Within the study period of 6 months to 3 years, only two of the 21 patients suffered further dislocation. There were no side effects recorded as a result of treatment.

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